Thursday, April 20, 2006

A University President Gotta Live, Doesn't She?

TsouIt appears that the now-former President of Texas Southern University, Patricia Slade, had a little trouble differentiating what was hers and what was the university's. 

As a result, the University's governing Board has fired her for cause because of her lavish spending on seemingly personal items with university funds. She also might be facing criminal charges.

According to a story yesterday in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), Slade is alleged to have spent almost $650,000 in university funds on personal expenses in the last seven years.  Included in that total: $286,000 on furniture, landscaping, and security for Ms. Slade's newly built home and an undisclosed amount on golf lessons, expensive china, travel, and spa visits.

No shrinking violet, Slade has defended herself in a letter to the Houston Chronicle, arguing that, "all of the questioned expenses had been covered by her expense account (about $50,000 per year) and by her annual office budget of $450,000."  She is also claims that much of the money spent were for activities she conducted as the University's president.  Slade plans to fight her dismissal through the various appeal processes.

Most ironic about this whole story is that she had labeled fiscal responsibility as first among her five top goals for the university.


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