What We Would Like to See in the New Year

It’s been a remarkable year for higher education. We ranked the most important events of 2018 in last week’s article. But now it’s time to look ahead. Here is what members of the Martin Center staff would like to see happen in academia in 2019.   Jenna A. Robinson, President More States Adopting Due Process … Continue reading “What We Would Like to See in the New Year”

University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight

As public institutions funded by taxpayers, state colleges and universities are limited in the kinds of commercial activity in which they can participate. This is particularly so when it comes to university land or property. However, through the use of institutionally affiliated—but still private—non-profit  “foundations,” universities have found a convenient way to bypass these restrictions … Continue reading “University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight”

University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

By now, most Americans are aware of the widespread waste and decadence at many private and public universities. From lazy rivers to exorbitant chancellors’ salaries, examples abound. But those well-publicized cases, problematic as they are, can be easily addressed by parents and students who pay tuition and by legislators who control the purse strings. However, … Continue reading “University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”

How to Make University Foundations More Transparent

University foundations are at the forefront of schools’ fundraising, event planning, and publicity efforts. But the details of how these foundations operate—such as where they get their money and what it pays for—often are hidden from public view. Many foundations are allowed to take advantage of their private non-profit status despite being considerably entangled with … Continue reading “How to Make University Foundations More Transparent”

No Accountability: UNC System Foundations Operate in Secrecy

The UNC System is flush with foundations that raise money for their associated universities, and researchers who have looked at these types of organizations on a national level have called them “slush funds” and “shadow corporations” that too often operate in secrecy, despite spending taxpayers’ money. The unusual practice in North Carolina in which foundations buy property, then lease space back to their universities, has raised eyebrows among some of those experts.