Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chicago St. president pays back $8,650

I'm going into the distant past here and really it doesn't have much to do with the story here, but when I was looking at college many years ago Chicago State University wasn't exactly at the top of the list. There were much better choices to go to school at least when I went to my high school's college fair. It was safe to say though that Chicago State seemed to have recruited heavily for students at my high school.

Fast forward to today. In the past few months Chicago State has been in the news more and they have an ally in State Senate President Emil Jones. Even better than that I may walk thru the campus every now and then and I see some capital improvements with a convocation center and a new library being built over there.

Alas that's not why Chicago State University is in the news. The university has been in the news for such things as this...
Chicago State University president Elnora Daniel has reimbursed the state $8,650 for expenses she wrongly billed to the state, school officials said Friday.
Daniel racked up the expenses on a university credit card during the 2006 fiscal year.

"On occasion, personal purchases were made on the credit card in error," the school said in a statement. "However, all personal purchases were reimbursed by the president."
You know a few years ago I had this vision for Chicago State. See my family and perhaps others might look at Chicago State as a school of "last resort". Meaning if things didn't work out anywhere else whether they didn't get accepted to the school of their choice, that's where people will go to school. I have had this vision where perhaps one day Chicago State won't be a last choice but a first choice. Of course doing this would require a lot of things maybe a higher endowment, better facilities, better services, perhaps better more credentialed professors, new or better academic programs. These are just a few things I picked up on in my time as a student.

So I'm sure inquiring minds want to know where was thing money going...
Some of the expenses included a portion of a meal purchased at an American Association of State Colleges and Universities conference in Phoenix in November 2005. Another improper charge included the cost of a hotel room in Springfield around the time of an Illinois Board of Higher Education meeting in April 2006.
CSU spokeswoman Robyn Wheeler said some of the expenses wrongly charged included alcoholic beverages purchased at meals where university business took place. State funds can't be used for alcohol.
The records released last week include tickets purchased for "Wicked," the Rockettes and "Dr. Doolittle," which university officials and donors attended. At a performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in January, Daniel took her executive assistant and one of her associate deans, Pat Sloan, who the school says has donated money to the school's scholarship fund and is a prospect for a "generous planned gift."

However, no donors were present at an outing to "The Color Purple" at the Palace Theatre in April. Daniel charged three tickets -- at a cost of $264 -- to attend the production with her executive assistant and Martha Dawson, a "consultant/executive coach," the school said.
Hopefully this mess will be sorted out and the University President will know how to keep personal business on her own tab instead of the state's.

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