DOW JONES 12,824.39 12.94
PAGES B59 For breaking news, go to www.bostonglobe.com/business
NASDAQ 2,930.45 +0.69
Taking a close look at which search engine works the best
At Hub convention, biotech leaders look to the future WGBHFM to drop jazz programming on weeknights Workers at Pilgrim nuclear plant reject tentative pact
THE BOSTON GL OBE THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012 | BOSTONGL OBE.COM/METRO
A long, hard road from public aid recipient to public servant There are some things Stephanie Ev erett never thought she’d be: a teenage mother, an abuse victim, a welfare re cipient, homeless. She became all of these things. Other things Everett never thought she’d become: an attor ney, a Senate aide, the new chief of staff at the very agency that helped lift her from the
abyss. These things also came to pass. The path from Everett’s then to her now goes through some dark places — places that could have been points of no return, and have been, for many. Domestic violence was a family tradition. Her paternal grandfather killed his first wife, and her father seemed set to follow in his footsteps. Everett remembers watching in horror as her father held her mother down in the kitchen and gave her a beating, the first of many
she witnessed. She was not yet 5 at the time. After her father left, her mother — eventually diagnosed with bipolar disor der — remained unpredictable, swinging between obsessive neatness and destructive rage. “One day our house got bro ken into, and it was completely trashed, and our first instinct was, ‘Why did mom do this?’ ” Everett recalled. Her mother at tempted suicide, the family separated, and Everett, along with her brother and sister, went to live with their tough maternal grandmother.
Despite the turmoil, Everett tested into Boston Latin. For poor city kids, Latin can be a ladder out of dysfunction. Ever ett had one foot on that ladder when it fell away — or she pushed it — skipping so much school she had to repeat sev enth grade. She returned to her Mattapan middle school. And even though she was back liv ing with her mother and was a less than model student, she graduated high school. After her mother sent her to live with her father in Georgia, “a light bulb went off,” Everett
said. “I need to do well in school.” She en rolled at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. But after one semester, Everett, back in Mattapan for Christmas break, got pregnant by her high school boyfriend. She was 19, and though she swore this would never happen to her, she was happy.
“I had this notion a baby would love me no matter what,” she said. “I didn’t have to fit in.’’ Nobody else was happy. Espe cially not her boyfriend, who began beating her. Another of her nevers fell away: She was an abuse victim. “You could see the bruises on my chest and arms, and my friends said, ‘What happened?’ and I said, ‘It was just him let ting off steam, it’s fine, it doesn’t hurt anymore.’ ” She moved in with him shortly after her daughter was born on ABRAHAM, Page B13
Embattled college president steps down Lavish expenditures had sparked probe by Coakley By Walter V. Robinson GLOBE CORRESPONDENT
DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF
A ‘corpse flower’ reached full bloom at Franklin Park Zoo. Morticia, the zoo’s huge flower, has been said to smell like rotting flesh.
‘CORPSE FLOWER’ Franklin Park Zoo visitors see and smell a oncein15years event By Adam Sege
itty litter. Sweat. An aquarium. That’s how three visitors described the aroma of Morticia, the Franklin Park Zoo’s most famous flower, after waiting in line half an hour for a whiff. Morticia reached full bloom Tuesday night, an event that lasts less than two days and occurs once every 15 years for Amorphophallus titanum, commonly called a “corpse flower.” Zoo officials opened Morticia’s greenhouse last Thurs day for viewing, and since last Friday roughly 11,900 visi tors have stopped by, spokeswoman Brooke Wardrop said. That’s 3,000 more than the zoo’s total visitors during
the same period last year, she said. During a free viewing Wednesday morning, hundreds lined up in intense heat to see, and smell, the blooming flower for themselves. The corpse flower takes its name from its aroma, which many compare to that of rotting flesh. Many who visited Wednesday had their own descrip tions. “To me, it smells more or less like old kitty litter,” said Ben Dicke, 28, of Somerville. “It’s not too pleasant.” Zoo officials say about 30 corpse flowers have bloomed in captivity. In order to survive, the 200pound flower needs conditions similar to those in its native western In donesia, with a temperature of 82 degrees and a humidity FLOWER, Page B4
Nearrecord heat on first day of summer By Billy Baker GLOBE STAFF
New England springs, notoriously fickle and reluctant to cede to the warmer season, like to give up slowly, even after the calendar has declared them done. “Most years, you need to guess when summer comes,” said Cyral Miller of Roxbury, smoldering in nearrecord heat next to his slushy cart, Fat Slushy’s. “But not today.” The first official day of summer arrived Wednes day with a blast, with temperatures soaring to 96 degrees in Boston, two degrees short of a record and a searing contrast to sweater weather just a few days before. And it’s only going to get hotter. The National Weather Service is predicting 99 degrees for Logan Airport Thursday, but inland temperatures could easily poke into triple digits, according to meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell in the Taunton office. “It will be oppressive,” he said, adding that humidity could make it feel like 105, the threshold for an official heat warning. WEATHER, Page B4
JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
Jefferson Rosales, 8, is held by family friend Beti as they cool off at Revere Beach.
Dr. Robert J. Gee, whose lavish spending and fiscal stewardship at the Falmouthbased National Graduate School of Quality Management have spawned three separate inquiries, has been removed as the college’s president by the board of trustees, the school informed its staff yesterday. Thomas C. Kneaval, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, said in an email that Gee would return to teaching and “other activities related to” a hastily scheduled review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits institutions of higher education. The association’s next review had been scheduled for 2014, but was recently moved up to September because of revelations about the school. Attorney General Martha Coakley launched a separate investigation after the Globe reported on April 26 that the tiny Falmouth school had paid Gee $732,891 in 2009, provided his wife with a $100,000 annual salary, given the couple two new Mercedes Benz automobiles, and paid nearly $200,000 for a twoweek annual timeshare for the Gees in the US Virgin Islands. Gee purchased the two automobiles at school expense, for $130,658, not long after the Massa chusetts Development Finance Agency authorized GEE, Page B4
Unions won’t oppose rule on teachers Seniority’s role would be cut By Jamie Vaznis GLOBE STAFF
The American Federation of Teachers Massachu setts scrapped plans to fight legislation that would re duce the role of seniority in teacher staffing decisions and instead will remain neutral on the issue, the state’s secondlargest teachers union announced Wednesday. The legislation, unveiled earlier this month, is on the fast track to secure approval in the state Legisla ture and aims to stave off an emotionally divisive bal lot question that called for more sweeping changes. The teachers federation had initially promised an ag gressive fight against what it called “extreme legisla tion.’’ But in a statement Wednesday, the federation soft ened its position while remaining skeptical about the legislation. “The AFT Massachusetts has deep reservations about the compromise bill, but recognizes that it is far less harmful to our Commonwealth’s firstinthena tion schools than the misguided ballot question,” the statement said. “For that reason alone, we will neither support nor oppose the proposed legislation.” The teachers federation issued the statement as the state’s largest labor organization, the AFLCIO AFT, Page B13
T h e
B o s t o n
G l o b e
T H U R S D A Y, J U N E 2 1 , 2 0 1 2
Heat hits 96 degrees on first day of summer uWEATHER
Continued from Page B1
Around the city Wednesday, as summer announced its presence in no uncertain turns, residents responded in kind, particularly at the 52 city parks that have some sort of water spray feature. In Hyde Park, the Olsen Spray Deck, an elaborate miniature water park, was jammed with children squealing in the midday sun as parents lined the borders, crowded into the few shady areas. “We came here looking for something refreshing,” said Gbenade Tossoukpe of West Roxbury, who had brought his three children to cool off. Just then, his 7-year-old son, Norbert, delivered that refreshment by dumping a bucket of water over his head, kicking off an epic water fight where Dad was the biggest kid of all. Kelly Morrissey of West Roxbury had grown up going to the attached pool, which, like many city pools, does not open until this weekend. Being back there with her two daughters, who took a break to eat snow cones that dripped down their arms, reminded her of the sum-
mers of her youth. “It’s just exciting to be out of school, to have a relaxed pace,” she said. “And it always seems like summer happens like this; you wait for it, then it’s here in an instant.” Health officials say the heat can become deadly, especially for the very young and very old. “We do expect that the number of incidents will rise over these days with extreme heat,” said Jennifer Mehigan, spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services, which has added three extra ambulance crews in anticipation of heat-related illness. Mehigan said the city is asking residents to check on elderly family members, elderly neighbors, and those with medical conditions, and is encouraging those without air conditioning to seek relief in a place that does, such as a library or community center. “We realize that some people do have to work outside, and we would just ask them to do their best to stay hydrated, but also to take rests from the sun,” Mehigan said. “You need to pay attention to yourself, but also those around you. If someone is feeling dizzy or
DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF
Boston residents took a break from the heat at the rooptop pool in Colonnade Hotel. Temperatures reached 96 degrees Wednesday, which marked the first day of summer. nauseous, that’s a sign to get them out of the sun and take a break.” The heat means heat-induced speed restrictions on commuter trains, and riders on the
Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line should expect at least 10-minute delays, CSX Corp. announced. Some relief is expected Saturday and Sunday, when highs are
expected in the low 80s. The air will still be sticky, but will not be nearly as bad as the week, the weather service reported. Early next week may bring showers, and temperatures are
expected to be in the 70s. At Grove Hall in Roxbury on Wednesday, Eric Perez, 14, and his cousin, Ernesto Perez, 12, said they had a simple strategy to beat the heat: stay inside and play video games next to a fan. “I stay up till like 3 o’clock in the morning playing video games,” Eric Perez said. “I don’t need to worry about ‘I got this essay due tomorrow’ or ‘I’ve got to read this chapter.’” At the Neponset Park in Dorchester, Lisa Locken and Rose O’Neil of Quincy watched their children dash through the fountains there. Seeing them, both said, brought back feelings of their own childhood “of freedom and beach and ice cream,” Locken said. But summers are long, and for parents that freedom has a way of becoming a strain over time. “Ask me again in August,” Locken said. “I won’t be able to wait for them to go back to school.” Globe correspondent Alli Knothe contributed to this report. Billy Baker can be reached at email@example.com.
‘Corpse Flower’ in bloom is a smelly zoo event uFLOWER
Continued from Page B1
level between 80 and 90 percent. Those greenhouse conditions, on a day when temperatures in Boston topped 90 degrees, made distinguishing the plant’s smell a bit challenging for Josh Evans, 15, of Needham. “I’m trying to decide whether that’s the plant or whether that’s a bunch of sweaty people,” he said. “I feel like you should be able to smell the plant. That must be it.” Not that the smell, which he called “really, really bad,” detracted from his visit.
“These things only flower once every 15 years,” Evans said. “It’s not a chance you get every day.” Morticia stands 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Its large sheaths curl away from a tall brown spike in all directions and are deep purple when viewed from above. Damaging the flower in any w ay, w h e t h e r a s c r a t c h o r bruise, can prove to be disastrous for the plant, said Harry Liggett, manager of horticulture and grounds at Zoo New England. The zoo has four other corpse flowers, all donated by Dr. Louis Ricciardiello, an oral
surgeon in Laconia, N.H. Ricciardiello, who has been working with the plants for several years, holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest bloom. The winning plant, a corpse flower, measured more than 10 feet, 2 inches, in 2010. Zoo officials expected Morticia’s full bloom to end either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The greenhouse will close to the public starting Thursday. Jodie Dow, 66, returned Wednesday after two visits. “I may never get to see one of these again, so I wanted to see it,” said Dow, of Somerville.
MORTGAGEE’S NOTICE OF SALE OF REAL ESTATE
MORTGAGEE’S NOTICE OF SALE OF REAL ESTATE
By virtue and in execution of the Power of Sale contained in a certain Mortgage given by Brian F McArdle and Patricia A McArdle and Caitlin S McArdle to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., dated March 31, 2006 and recorded with the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds at Book 39320, Page 220 of which the Mortgage the undersigned is the present holder by assignment for breach of the conditions of said Mortgage and for the purpose of foreclosing same will be sold at Public Auction at 01:00 PM on July 5, 2012 at 47 Rosemont Street, #2, Boston (Dorchester), MA, all and singular the premises described in said Mortgage, to wit:
By virtue and in execution of the Power of Sale contained in a certain Mortgage given by Howard Simpson to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., dated February 9, 2006 and recorded with the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds at Book 39006, Page 257 of which the Mortgage the undersigned is the present holder for breach of the conditions of said Mortgage and for the purpose of foreclosing same will be sold at Public Auction at 09:00 AM on July 5, 2012 at 49-51 Woodbine Street, Boston (Roxbury District), MA, all and singular the premises described in said Mortgage, to wit:
Unit 2 in the 47 Rosemont Street Condominium, created pursuant to Chapter 183A of the Massachusetts General laws by a Master Deed dated December 19, 2005 and recorded in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds in Book 38719, page 22, as it may be amended in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds, together with an undivided percentage interest in the common areas and facilities as described in said Master Deed and plans attached to said Master Deed. Subject to and with the benefits of all easements, restrictions, rights, conditions, reservations, rights-of-way, covenants, provisions, orders, takings, agreements, encroachment easements, common element easements, all provisions of the Master Deed, Trust, By-Laws, and Floor Plans of the Condominium, all amendments, liens for assessments, options, powers of attorney and limitations of title created by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 183A or as set forth in the Master Deed, in the related By-Laws, rules and regulations or in the Declaration of Trust, as they may have been lawfully amended. Together with (1) an undivided 33.33 percent interest in the common areas and facilities of said Condominium and together with the rights, if any, to exclusive use of any of the common areas and facilities of said Condominium as set forth in said Master Deed as amended from time to time (2) the exclusive license to use storage area(s) if any, as set forth in said Master Deed and Trust as amended from time to time; (3) an exclusive right to use parking space(s) and driveways as designated in the Master Deed and Trust and Unit Deed; and (4) the exclusive rights and easements if any, as shown on the plan filed with the Master Deed as amended from time to time. For title, see Unit Deed recorded herewith. The premises are to be sold subject to and with the benefit of all easements, restrictions, building and zoning laws, liens, attorneys fees and costs pursuant to M.G.L.Ch.183A, unpaid taxes, tax titles, water bills, municipal liens and assessments, rights of tenants and parties in possession. TERMS OF SALE: A deposit of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS AND 00 CENTS ($5,000.00) in the form of a certified check or bank treasurer’s check will be required to be delivered at or before the time the bid is offered. The successful bidder will be required to execute a Foreclosure Sale Agreement immediately after the close of the bidding. The balance of the purchase price shall be paid within thirty (30) days from the sale date in the form of a certified check, bank treasurer’s check or other check satisfactory to Mortgagee’s attorney. The Mortgagee reserves the right to bid at the sale, to reject any and all bids, to continue the sale and to amend the terms of the sale by written or oral announcement made before or during the foreclosure sale. If the sale is set aside for any reason, the Purchaser at the sale shall be entitled only to a return of the deposit paid. The purchaser shall have no further recourse against the Mortgagor, the Mortgagee or the Mortgagee’s attorney. The description of the premises contained in said mortgage shall control in the event of an error in this publication. TIME WILL BE OF THE ESSENCE. Other terms if any, to be announced at the sale. U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee, for J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-S3 Present Holder of said Mortgage, By Its Attorneys, Orlans Moran PLLC P.O. Box 962169 Boston, MA 02196 Phone: (617) 502-4100
the value of your newspapers to local classrooms.
The land in that part of Boston which was formerly Roxbury, being now numbered 49-51 Woodbine Street, being shown as the lot numbered 29 on a plan drawn by T.B. Moses, Surveyor, dated September 12,1857, and recorded with Norfolk Deeds, Book 297, Page 127, and being bounded and described as follows: NORTHEASTERLY by Woodbine Street, fifty (50') feet NORTHWESTERLY eighty (80') feet;
by the lot numbered 28 on said plan
SOUTHWESTERLY by land now or formerly of Miller; and SOUTHEASTERLY by the lot numbered 30 on said plan, being land now or formerly of Andrew Foley, sixty-six (66') feet. Containing about 3,650 square feet of land, according to said plan. Or however otherwise bounded, measured, described and be said contents or measurements more or less. Recorded Herewith Property address: 49-51 Woodbine Street Roxbury (Boston). MA Parcel: 1200857000 The premises are to be sold subject to and with the benefit of all easements, restrictions, building and zoning laws, unpaid taxes, tax titles, water bills, municipal liens and assessments, rights of tenants and parties in possession. TERMS OF SALE: A deposit of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS AND 00 CENTS ($5,000.00) in the form of a certified check or bank treasurer’s check will be required to be delivered at or before the time the bid is offered. The successful bidder will be required to execute a Foreclosure Sale Agreement immediately after the close of the bidding. The balance of the purchase price shall be paid within thirty (30) days from the sale date in the form of a certified check, bank treasurer’s check or other check satisfactory to Mortgagee’s attorney. The Mortgagee reserves the right to bid at the sale, to reject any and all bids, to continue the sale and to amend the terms of the sale by written or oral announcement made before or during the foreclosure sale. If the sale is set aside for any reason, the Purchaser at the sale shall be entitled only to a return of the deposit paid. The purchaser shall have no further recourse against the Mortgagor, the Mortgagee or the Mortgagee’s attorney. The description of the premises contained in said mortgage shall control in the event of an error in this publication. TIME WILL BE OF THE ESSENCE. Other terms if any, to be announced at the sale. LNV Corporation Present Holder of said Mortgage, By Its Attorneys, Orlans Moran PLLC P.O. Box 962169 Boston, MA 02196 Phone: (617) 502-4100 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING MASSACHUSETTS DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AGENCY The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (“MassDevelopment”) will conduct a public hearing at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2012, at its offices located at 160 Federal Street, Boston, Massachusetts, with respect to the proposed issuance by MassDevelopment, acting under and pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 23G and 40D, as amended, of bonds in one or more series in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $2,700,000 (the “Bonds”). The Bonds will be issued to provide for the financing or refinancing of, or the reimbursement of funds advanced by The Waring School, Ecole Bilingue de Beverly, Inc. (the “Institution,” which term includes for purposes of this Notice any parent, subsidiary or other affiliate thereof) with respect to facilities owned or to be owned by the Institution, including without limitation those facilities which are or will be located at 35 Standley Street, Beverly, Massachusetts (the “Campus”) and at 49 Standley Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, (including without limitation such financing, refinancing or reimbursement of bond reserves and issuance costs), in particular the current refunding of all or a portion of the outstanding principal amount, which outstanding principal amount is approximately $2,700,000, of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency Revenue Bonds, Waring School Issue, Series 2000 issued in the original principal amount of $4,000,000, which bond issue financed and refinanced the (i) construction and equipping of an approximately 12,000 square foot “Forum” building which includes three science laboratories, three seminar classrooms, project/display space, storage space, an environmental study area, a lecture hall and faculty offices, (ii) renovation and equipping of the existing approximately 5,000 square foot “School” building which building is used as administrative/faculty office space, teaching space, and for student meeting areas, (iii) miscellaneous landscaping, design, reconstruction and relocation of roadways and traffic patterns on a Campus-wide basis, (iv) miscellaneous other costs of construction, renovation and equipping of Campus facilities, and (v) reimbursement of the purchase price, costs and expenses incurred for the acquisition of the approximately 0.7 acre parcel of real property, together with the approximately 1,662 square foot single family house located thereon, located at 49 Standley Street, Beverly, Massachusetts. The Bonds will not constitute a general obligation of, or a pledge of the faith and credit of MassDevelopment or a general obligation of, or a debt or pledge of the faith and credit of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MASSACHUSETTS DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AGENCY
LEGAL NOTICES COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS LAND COURT DEPARTMENT OFTHE TRIAL COURT Case No. 12 MISC 463414 ORDER OF NOTICE To: Ruben Charles and Milka Charles and to all persons entitled to the benefit of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App. § 501 et seq.: Sovereign Bank, N.A. f/k/a Sovereign Bank claiming to have an interest in a Mortgage covering real property 160 Wilmington Avenue, Dorchester, given by Milka Charles and Ruben Charles to Sovereign Bank, dated July 15, 2005 and recorded in Suffolk County Registry of Deeds in Book 37650; at Page 32; has/have filed with this court a complaint for determination of Defendant’s/Defendants’ Servicemembers status. If you now are,or recently have been, in the active military service of the United States of America, then you may be entitled to the benefits of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. If you object to a foreclosureoftheabove-mentioned property on that basis, then you or your attorney must file awrittenappearanceandanswer in this court at Three Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108 on or before July 30, 2012 or you will be forever barred from claiming that you are entitled to the benefits of said Act. Witness, KARYN F. SCHEIER, Chief Justice of this Court on 6/13/2012 Attest: DEBORAH J. PATTERSON, Recorder 959162 06/21/2012 The Brookline Housing Authority is the sponsor of 86 Dummer Street, a proposed 32-unit new construction rental housing development in North Brookline. The sponsor expects to receive an award of 9% credits in the fourth quarter of 2012. Closing and construction start are projected to occur in early 2013. The BHA has issued an RFP for a development consultant who will serve as the leader of the development team throughout the development process through stabilized occupancy. The deadline for submitting responses to the RFP is July 6, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. Please visit the link below for the full RFP and attachments http://brooklinehousing.org /pdf/dummer_consultant_ pkg.pdf
Fire equipment Service Company based in Wilmington, MA is seeking full time service technicians. Mechanical aptitude and small engine knowledge are essential. This is a fast paced, demanding industry strong work ethics and the ability to learn quickly are a must. If interested and can meet these requirements please email resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
the value of your newspapers to local classrooms.
‘I’m trying to decide whether that’s the plant or whether that’s a bunch of sweaty people.’ JOSH EVANS,15 of Needham
Gabe Harris, 12, of West Roxbury said he felt “kind of relieved” that Morticia’s odor had not lived up to his expectations. “It didn’t smell as bad as I
thought it would,” Harris said. “Trash smells worse.” Along with his mother, Harris brought along his friend Connor Lewis, from Hyde Park. “I knew he would be glad to come see it, because it was called a ‘corpse flower,’ ” Harris said. “I just want to smell a dead corpse,” said Lewis. But asked to describe how the flower actually smelled, Lewis offered a surprising answer: “The Aquarium, sort of.” Globe correspondent Alli Knothe contributed to this report. Adam Sege can be reached at email@example.com.
DAVID L RYAN / GLOBE STAFF
Morticia the ‘corpse flower’ showed off at the zoo.
College president steps down uGEE
Continued from Page B1
$2.64 million in low-interest bonds in 2009 so the school could buy a $3.25 million waterfront compound overlooking Martha’s Vineyard. The compound’s most breathtaking views are from a six-bedroom house that was intended to be Gee’s residence. Coakley, whose office oversees nonprofit groups, said in April that Gee’s compensation seemed excessive and raised questions about the school’s stewardship of charitable funds. She has ordered the school to turn over to her office numerous documents, including any that would illuminate whether the school’s trustees had adequately overseen Gee’s administration of the school. Kneaval’s e-mail announced that John H. Bridges III, the board’s vice chairman, would serve as interim president. A school administrator inadvertently copied a Globe reporter on the e-mail. Scott Adams, a former board member, told the Globe in April that the board had acted as a “puppet group’’ that seldom raised questions about Gee’s spending. Yesterday, Adams said that Bridges had long been troubled that the board did not exercise its proper oversight role. Diana Pisciotta, a spokeswoman for the board of trustees, said that Kneaval would not comment further and that the board “prefers to let the letter stand on its own.’’ She declined to say whether Gee’s compensation had been reduced. The letter, Pisciotta said in an interview, “is a clear sign that the board is acting responsibly to fulfill its fiduciary duties and to assure that the school continues its accreditation.’’ Last night, Brad Puffer, a spokesman for Coakley, said the attorney general is conducting a comprehensive review of the school “in order to protect charitable funds and the public interest.” “While we cannot comment on actions reportedly taken by
Attorney General Martha Coakley said in April that Robert Gee’s compensation seemed excessive and launched an investigation. the board regarding its president, the school’s board of directors has an ongoing fiduciary obligation to make decisions in the best interest of the organization,” he said. Last night, attempts to reach Gee by phone and by e-mail were unsuccessful. Gee founded the school in 1994. It has fewer than 400 students, who take undergraduate and graduate courses around the country in total quality management, to more efficiently manage production and manufacturing processes. According to the letter, Gee was being replaced in advance of the pending visit by officials of the accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation is critical to schools like the National Graduate School. If it were withdrawn, the school would probably not survive. Barbara E. Brittingham, the president of the New England Association, said in an interview yesterday that Gee, after the April disclosures, asked her agency’s higher education commission to move up the review by two years. Speaking generally, Brittingham said that such a step is unusual and occurs when there are publicly expressed concerns that relate to accreditation. The association, she said,
“does not typically get into how money is spent.’’ Among the standards for accreditation listed on the association’s website, a school is required to devote “all, or substantially all, of its gross income to the support of its educational purposes and programs.’’ In addition to compensation that matched that of presidents of major universities, the Globe reported that Gee was given a new contract in 2006 that runs until 2023, when he will be 79. It guarantees him a base salary of $400,000 a year, an annual incentive bonus of at least 15 percent of his salary, an expense account that permits expenses “well above the norm,’’ travel costs for Gee and his spouse to the timeshare resort, renovations to his residence, and even reimbursement for wear and tear on his luggage and clothing. What’s more, Gee was entitled to cash if he did not use his four weeks of vacation or 30 sick days each year. There have also been some accusations that the school has been awarding some degrees without proper approval. For that reason, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has been conducting its own investigation. Elizabeth K. Keating, a nonprofit finance expert who examined the school’s nonprofit tax filings at the Globe’s request and who concluded that school assets were being used for personal gain, said the board’s new aggressiveness is welcome and overdue. Most such abuses, Keating said yesterday, can be addressed by diligent board members who provide true oversight. “Perhaps it is time to talk about training nonprofit boards, amply funding and staffing nonprofit oversight agencies, and developing better research tools to help identify frauds before they become as egregious as the o n e a t Na t i o n a l G r a d u a t e School,” Keating said. Walter V. Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.