Phi Beta Cons

Lobbying In Alabama Colleges

…goes by different handles.

 

The Birmingham News has been looking into financial affairs in Alabama’s system of two-year colleges. Recently it published an article about how some colleges have spent close to $2-million on lobbying, in defiance of a 2003 ban on the practice. How did they get away with this? By simply labeling lobbying  “consulting, research, grants development, or strategic planning.”

 

The News also says most of these “planners” had close ties to campus administrators, including Roy W. Johnson, who was ousted last month as chancellor of the system (The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13); it also describes a bond-issuing deal with a system vice chancellor’s brother, the sweet deals Mr. Johnson made regarding his new home, and the surprising number of Mr. Johnson’s family members who have earned wages or contracts within the system.

 

In face of allegations such as these we must wonder just how much such deception and nepotism pervade our public higher education systems. And kudos to investigative journalists, such as those at the News, for bringing such practices to light.

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