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University Press May 15, 2012 Vol. 13 Issue 29

Florida Atlantic University’s finest news source

SPECIAL ISSUE

Secret

PASTS

Meet the Board of Trustees. From stadium loans to tuition hikes, they make FAU’s biggest financial decisions. But a University Press investigation found that half the board members have bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, or other financial problems in their past.

PG. 4 A plain-English explanation of how this board’s decisions directly impact student life PG. 11 upressonline.com May 15, 2012 upressonline.com

Get to know all the philanthropists, entrepreneurs and business people on FAU’s Board of Trustees PG. 14

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First issue is free; each additional copy is 50 cents and available in the UP newsroom.


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May 15, 2012 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ryan Cortes MANAGING EDITOR Dylan Bouscher ART DIRECTOR Phaedra Blaize WEB EDITOR Andrew Alvino BUSINESS MANAGER Michae Henry COPY DESK CHIEF Michael Chandeck NEWS EDITOR Regina Kaza CRIME EDITOR Monica Ruiz FEATURES EDITOR Carolina Fernandez PHOTO EDITOR Charles Pratt SPORTS EDITOR Rolando Rosa SENIOR EDITORS Rachel Chapnick Gideon Grudo SENIOR REPORTERS Sergio Candido SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Christine Capozziello STAFF REPORTERS Michelle Ferrand Jordan Robrish STAFF DESIGNER Elena Medina STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Melissa Landolfa COPY EDITOR Jessica Cohn-Kleinberg CONTRIBUTORS Emily Gala ADVISERS Michael Koretzky Dan Sweeney COVER Illustration by Emily Gala

WANT TO JOIN THE UP? email upress@fau.edu Staff meetings every Friday, 2 p.m. in the Student Union, Room 214 WANT TO PLACE AN AD? Contact Marc Litt 732.991.6353 marc@universityimpress.com PUBLISHER FAU Student Government The opinions expressed by the UP are not necessarily those of the student body, Student Government or FAU.

Public distrust A special investigation into FAU’s Board of Trustees

L

ike this spring, April 2011 at FAU buzzed with talk of another eight-figure budget cut and rumors of another 15 percent tuition hike. It was one night that April that I lay awake at 3 a.m. I was having trouble sleeping. Tired of tossing and turning, I found myself opening my laptop and typing 13 names into a public database of federal court documents. I discovered that a few of FAU’s trustees had filed for bankruptcy or been sued in federal court in the past (see page 4). The Board of Trustees, mind you, essentially runs the university. Its 13 members, aka “trustees,” outrank everyone at FAU — even the president. That means FAU’s multimillion-dollar decisions are being made in part by people who have struggled at times to manage their own money. I wanted to know what else these people were keeping on the down-low, so I background-checked them. I searched more databases for public documents. I asked the state government for the trustees’ applications (see page 14). I looked up the state laws that govern the trustees and the media’s coverage of them. I read what FAU says about them and what the trustees say about themselves. I interviewed the trustees who would talk to me. I found so many bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, liens and lawsuits in our trustees’ pasts that I needed another researcher to get through it all — and this entire issue of the newspaper to cover it all. The public deserves to know who these people really are. FAU is a public school that receives millions in state money each year. FAU’s trustees are public officers who “hold their positions for the benefit of the public,” says Florida’s Code of Ethics. They sit on the board because state officials like the governor handpicked them and the Florida Senate approved of them (see pages 11 and 20). By definition, a trustee is someone to whom something is entrusted. The 13 trustees detailed in this issue have been entrusted with the future of Florida Atlantic University.

Karla Bowsher Special issue director

May 15, 2012

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4 11 14

P.S. If you’d like to see the documents for yourself, visit upressonline.com/BOT.

Who’s in charge here? The lowdown on the most troubling trustees

Here’s how it works

The Board of Trustees in plain English

The trusty bunch The trustees’ qualifications in their own words

About the reporters Karla Bowsher Karla Bowsher is a Spanish studies major wrapping up her senior year. She is a f ormer editor-in-chief of the University Press and works part-time as a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in the SunSentinel, The Miami Herald and the Broward Bulldog, a nonprofit watchdog news service. Bowsher is registered as an independent voter.

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Conflict of interest Why white males dominate the board

James Shackelford James Shackelford is an MBA student who earned his bachelor’s in accounting from FAU. He is a former managing editor of the University Press and previously worked in Student Government’s Boca Raton House of Representatives for more than two and a half years. Shackelford is a registered Republican.

www.upressonline.com 777 Glades Road Student Union, Room 214 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.297.2960

Contents

Full disclosure: James was a volunteer for the 2010 congressional campaign of now-Rep. Allen West, the spouse of FAU Trustee Angela Graham-West. In 2010, James also received a $500 scholarship from the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches, which Graham-West has belonged to since 2006.

SPECIAL ISSUE DIRECTOR: Karla Bowsher SPECIAL ISSUE DESIGNER: Phaedra Blaize SPECIAL ISSUE LINE EDITOR: Ryan Cortes SPECIAL ISSUE COPY EDITOR: Ricky Michalski

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News

Grand totals

Writing by Karla Bowsher, Reporting by Karla Bowsher and James Shackelford

Who’s

in charge here?

E

xperience. Leadership. Management. Philanthropy. Awards. These are the words FAU’s Board of Trustees members used to describe themselves when they applied to join the board. Bankruptcy filings. Foreclosures. Tax warrants. Court orders to pay debts. These are the words they neglected to mention. As FAU’s highest-ranking leaders, the trustees make FAU’s biggest financial and academic decisions. Their actions affect the entire university community — students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni. But a University Press investigation also found federal lawsuits, job performance complaints, a federal tax lien, and an eviction order in their past. To see these court documents for yourself, visit upressonline.com/BOT.

foreclosure

tax warrants

Court documents show that half the members of FAU’s Board of Trustees have had financial troubles

Thomas Workman Jr. Thomas Workman Jr. makes his living helping others with their finances. He’s been running accounting firms for decades. In 1971, Workman graduated from FAU with a bachelor’s of accounting. Today, he’s president of Thomas Workman & Associates, an accounting firm in Boca Raton. Workman is also a personal financial specialist, a credential for certified public accountants who also work as financial advisers. According to the American

Institute of CPAs, the credential “enhances your image as a trustworthy financial adviser.” But federal and local court documents paint a different image of Workman. Foreclosures, sixfigure debts, a federal tax lien, and a bankruptcy filing lurk in this trustee’s past. Workman, a past president of FAU’s Alumni Association, did not respond to interview requests, so this timeline of his financial problems is based on court documents:

1990 The IRS issued a federal tax lien against Boynton East Inc. because it owed $2,700 in back taxes. (Workman was the only officer of the company, which existed for less than a year). It was also known as Bright Horizons Childrens [sic] Center, but the University Press found no explanation why.

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3 7 21 1 6 6 1 3 4

bankruptcy filings

federal tax lien

1993, April California Federal Bank sued Workman, Rhine & Co. — an accounting firm — to foreclose on a residential condo it owned. (Workman was president of the company, which no longer exists.) The judge ruled that the company owed the bank $22,500, plus $2,850 in interest and $1,500 for the bank’s attorney fees. The University Press couldn’t determine why the company bought a residential condo in the first place, but it lost the property to the bank.

1992 Boca Bank sued NYWR Inc., its president, and Workman to foreclose on property they owned. (Besides the president, Workman was the only other officer of NYWR, which no longer exists.) The judge ruled that the defendants owed the bank $188,000, plus $4,000 for the bank’s attorney fees. They lost the property to the bank.

other liens

court orders to pay debts

court order of eviction

federal lawsuits

job performance complaints continued on page 6

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continued from page 4 Thomas Workman Jr., an FAU alum, joined the Board of Trustees in 2008. Photos by Charles Pratt.

1993, May Sun Bank South Florida sued Workman, Rhine & Co. to foreclose on another residential condo it owned. The company lost that property to the bank too.

1994, June A judge enforced a settlement for a lawsuit that First Union National Bank of Florida had filed against Workman, Rhine & Co. The settlement says Workman and his wife owed the bank more than $400,000.

1995, November First United Bank sued Workman and his wife to foreclose on a Boca Raton condo they owned — even though they’ve owned a 3,400-square-foot home in Boca Raton since 1978. The judge ruled that the Workmans owed the bank $29,000, plus $6,000 in interest and $1,000 for the bank’s attorney fees. They lost the condo to the bank.

1994, October Workman and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, which requires debtors to sell most of their property to pay back creditors and be cleared of their debts. The court cleared the Workmans of liability for their debts, which means their creditors couldn’t send them to collections.

Anthony Barbar Anthony Barbar is the son of a local legend, former real estate mogul George Barbar. A six-page Sun-Sentinel article from 1996 recounts the saga of George’s empire. The headline reads, “Fall From Grace: South Florida Developer George Barbar Had It All — Money, Influence, Fame. Then One Day, The Government Came Knocking At His Door.” According to the article, George began to invest in local real estate, taking out loans along the way, after he immigrated to the U.S. as a millionaire car salesman in 1974. He started a company called The Barbar Group Inc. in 1975. George was its president and his son Anthony was a vice president. At one point, George reported investments of $250 million. But by the early 1990s, his family empire had accumulated $78 million in debt.

The Barbar Group filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and no longer exists. George’s biggest achievement, the Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, was auctioned off in 1993. George had to sell his yacht, airplane, and several pieces of real estate. The government seized George’s and Anthony’s homes. Two decades later, Anthony Barbar has a company of his own. He is president and CEO of Barbar & Associates, LLC, a real estate consulting firm. But although he chairs the Board of Trustees’ Audit and Finance Committee, Barbar has financial problems of his own. Government records show that a bank is currently trying to foreclose on him, and that he has yet to pay off a $191,000 debt. Barbar, a past president of FAU’s Alumni Association, did not respond to interview requests, so this timeline of his financial problems is based on court documents:

1990, November After Woodfield Hunt Club Homeowners Association Inc. had sued The Barbar Group and Barbar Realty Inc., the judge ruled that the Barbar companies owed the homeowners association $850,000. (Barbar was president of Barbar Realty, which no longer exists.)

Sources: Court documents, Florida Department of State’s

Division of Corporations, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, AICPA.org, Workman’s

Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAUAlumni.org, USCourts.gov, FAU.edu/BOT

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1991, January

2010

The Barbar Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which gives businesses a chance to reorganize so they can pay their debts. But the court denied the company protection from its creditors.

After a different landlord sued Barbar and Barbar Investment Group, the judge ruled that they owed the landlord $191,000 in back rent, plus $2,700 for the landlord’s attorney fees. As of publication time, government records showed the debt still wasn’t paid up.

Sources: Court documents, Florida

Department of State’s Division of

Corporations, Barbar’s most recent

Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation,

FAUAlumni.org, USCourts.gov, Barbar.com Sun-Sentinel.com

continued on page 8

2009 Deutsche Bank National Trust sued Barbar and a relative to foreclose on property they owned. As of publication time, the lawsuit was still pending.

1991, May On behalf of Investors Federal Savings Bank, the federal government sued Barbar, a relative, and Royal Palm Improvement Association Inc. to foreclose on property they owned. The judge ordered three foreclosures and ruled that the defendants owed the bank $37 million.

2002, August A landlord sued The Barbar Group, Barbar Investment Group Inc., Barbar, and Anthony Barbar, an FAU alum, joined the Board of Trustees in 2008.

1991, June After the Bank of Credit and Commerce International Limited sued Barbar Realty, Barbar’s father, and another relative, the judge ruled that they owed the bank $313,000, plus $40,000 in interest and $9,000 for the bank’s attorney fees.

his father to evict them from office space in a building the landlord owned. (Barbar was president of Barbar Investment Group, which no longer exists.) The judge ordered an eviction.

2002, February A company called Royal Palm Mortgage sued Barbar, his father, and two other relatives to foreclose on property they owned. The judge ordered a foreclosure and ruled that they owed the mortgage company $3.1 million.

1992, April Barbar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the court denied him protection from his creditors.

1996 Bank Audi sued Barbar, his father, and another relative. The judge ruled that they owed the bank $1.4 million

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1990 - 2002 During this time period, Palm Beach County issued 20 tax warrants against The Barbar Group or Barbar Realty because they owed back property taxes. The documents are unclear about how much money each company owed for each warrant, but the warrants authorized the tax collector to seize and sell the companies’ property if they didn’t pay up.

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Paul Tanner

Paul Tanner makes his living helping others with their finances. This FAU alum has worked in wealth management for 30 years. He is currently a financial adviser and a senior vice president of investments for UBS Financial Services Inc., where he has worked since 2008. Tanner’s previous employers include Morgan Stanley and now-defunct Lehman Brothers Inc.

1987 Despite his experience, two lawsuits and several complaints have been filed against Tanner, most within the past decade. “Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society,” Tanner explained. These timelines of Tanner’s financial and legal problems are based on court documents, other government records and Tanner’s side of the story:

2004, June Morgan Stanley sued Tanner in a federal civil court. The lawsuit claimed Tanner (and two other former Morgan Stanley employees) “stole hundreds of Morgan Stanley customer files” and “confidential customer information.” Those customers’ accounts earned Morgan Stanley about $1.5 million in commission during the 12 months before Tanner resigned. The

2004, April Tanner resigned without notice as a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley, where he had worked since 1995, and took a job with one of Morgan Stanley’s competitors, Lehman Brothers. Tanner’s resignation letter read, in its entirety, “Effective immediately, I am resigning from Morgan Stanley.”

lawsuit also claimed that, after Tanner resigned, he “actively and aggressively commenced solicitation of active Morgan Stanley customers to transfer their accounts to Lehman Brothers.” According to Tanner, Morgan Stanley sued him because “they were upset [he] left and went to a competitor.” He also said the files he took from Morgan Stanley contained his personal records, like his diploma, his tax returns from the past 10 years, and his children’s birth certificates. In 2005, the lawsuit was settled out of court. “We resolved it in 24 hours,” Tanner said. Professionals like Tanner who work in the financial brokerage industry must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., or FINRA, an independent organization that oversees financial brokerage companies in the U.S. “To protect the investing public” is one of FINRA’s goals, its website explains. So FINRA maintains a public database that includes records of customer complaints against brokers. For a complaint to be added to FINRA’s database, the customer had to have first claimed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that “their broker engaged in activity that violates certain rules or conduct governing the industry.” The University Press’ investigation found five such customer complaints involving Tanner. One was dismissed, and these are the other four:

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After First Union National Bank of Florida had sued Tanner, a judge ruled that Tanner owed the bank $4,600, plus $1,600 in interest and $1,300 for the bank’s attorney fees. The debt was paid off by December 1989. According to Tanner, he’d taken out a loan to buy a $12,000 sailboat, and there was “nothing uncustomary about the transaction.”

2008 A Lehman Brothers customer complained that he had accepted a recommendation to invest money but that the money was never actually invested. The customer claimed $16,000 in damages. As of publication time, the dispute was still pending.

2007 A Lehman Brothers customer, whose account was handled by Tanner and another broker, complained about an investment he paid for more than a year earlier. To settle the dispute, Lehman Brothers exchanged the investment for a different one, which resulted in a $459,000 loss for the company.

continued on page 10

2004

2003 A Morgan Stanley customer complained that Tanner and another broker violated state and federal laws and committed fraud and negligence in connection with the buying and selling of stocks and mutual funds. The customer claimed $100,000 in damages. The dispute was settled, but the details of the settlement are confidential.

A Morgan Stanley customer handled by Tanner claimed that industry rules were broken in connection with bond transactions made in 2001 through 2004. The customer claimed $500,000 in damages. To settle the dispute, Morgan Stanley credited the customer’s account $175,000 because of an alleged overcharge. According to Tanner, the complaint was baseless against him, because it was Morgan Stanley that overcharged the customer and he was no longer involved with the customer at the time of that error. Sources: Paul Tanner, court documents, Tanner’s

Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FINRA. org, UBS.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com


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continued from page 8

And then some Court documents show that these four trustees have also had financial or legal problems:

Abdol Moabery In 2009, a former longtime employee of GA Telesis Component Repair Group Southeast sued the company in federal civil court. (Moabery is the company’s only officer.) The former employee, who had been fired, claimed that he was denied medical leave for knee surgery. In 2011, the lawsuit was settled out of court. According to Moabery, who said he employs 300 people, it was cheaper to settle than to fight the lawsuit in court. “It’s just the nature of being an employer,” he said of the lawsuit.

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561-417-7224

Jeffrey Feingold

David Feder

In July 2009, Martin County issued a tax warrant against Feingold’s company Dentaland Dental Centers because it owed back property taxes from 2007. The warrant authorized the tax collector to seize and sell the company’s property if it didn’t pay up. The amount the company owed is not mentioned in the warrant, and Feingold did not respond to interview requests.

In 2000, a disabled man sued East Bridge Mall Inc. in a federal civil court. (Feder was president of East Bridge Mall, which no longer exists.) The lawsuit claimed the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against disabled people: “Barriers to access involving parking and path of travel at this property have posed a risk of injury.” The alleged barriers included a lack of handicapped parking spaces (two handicapped spaces out of 200 parking spaces) and a lack of handicapped parking spaces with van access (none out of the 200), as well as ramps that needed repairs or were too steep. The lawsuit was settled out of court. Feder did not respond to interview requests.

Angela Graham-West Since 2004, six liens have been filed against Graham-West and her husband by the different homeowners associations. The liens say the couple owed a total of $4,000 in overdue homeowners association fees, late charges and related costs. As of publication time, five of the six liens were paid up. Graham-West, who has worked as a financial adviser since 1998, did not respond to interview requests.

Sources: Court documents, Florida Department of State’s Division

of Corporations, each trustee’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, GATelesis.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com


Features

how Here’s

it works

M

By Karla Bowsher and James Shackelford

ary Jane Saunders may be FAU’s president, but she’s not the boss. She reports to the Board of Trustees. The trustees are responsible — per state law — for “cost-effective policy,” “high-quality education programs,” and ensuring FAU meets “state policy, budgeting, and education standards.” In other words, the trustees make the big decisions, the multimilliondollar decisions. They’re the ones who let FAU take on $44.5 million in debt to build a football stadium during a recession. They’re the ones who voted for a 15 percent tuition hike

in 2010 and 2011 — and could vote for another hike later this month. The trustees also oversee academic and student matters. They approved the establishment of FAU’s own medical program and recently signed off on updating the university’s discrimination policy to protect gays and lesbians from harassment. The board gets all this power from the state government as dictated by Florida’s constitution. But as a brainchild of the government, the structure and procedures of the Board of Trustees can be confusing. So the University Press has broken down FAU’s Board of Trustees and how it fits into Florida’s higher education system.

Structure in a nutshell

The system FAU is one of 11 public universities in Florida. Those 11 universities constitute what’s called the State University System of Florida, or “SUS” for short. The system is governed by a Board of Governors and 11 boards of trustees. The Board of Governors has 17 members, who govern the whole state university system. Below the Board of Governors are the 11 boards of trustees, each of which governs one of the state’s 11 public universities.

The board Like those of the state’s other 10 universities, FAU’s Board of Trustees has 13 members divided into four categories:

6

members are appointed by the

governor of Florida (five-year terms)

5 members are appointed by the Board of Governors (five-year terms)

1

member is FAU’s student body

president (one-year term)

1 member is FAU’s Faculty Senate

president (two-year term) The 11 appointed trustees must apply for their positions and, after they are appointed, be approved by the Florida Senate. The student body president and Faculty Senate president automatically become trustees when their presidential terms begin. May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

Continued on page 12

FAU’s Board of Trustees has three officers, who are nominated and chosen by the trustees: a chair (currently Trustee Robert Stilley), a vice chair (currently Trustee Anthony Barbar) and the university president (Mary Jane Saunders), who is the main liaison between the trustees and FAU faculty, staff and students. The chair runs meetings, appoints committee chairs, doubles as the board’s spokesman and initiates the board’s annual evaluation of the university president’s performance. The vice chair completes those duties in the chair’s absence. The chair and vice chair officer positions have two-year terms.

11


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561.367.3256 s TOLL FREE 888.948.2144 s WWWFLORIDAPIPLAWFIRMCOM 2263 NW Boca Raton Blvd Suite 103, Boca Raton 33431 (next to FAU)

In an auto accident? Injured? Neck or back pain? Need help? You may be entitled to $10,000

in medical benefits and lost wages if you were in a car accident. Best of all, my services are free if you don’t recover any money.

No recovery, No fees or costs.

Robert Stilley on board till January 2016

All  aboard

0ERSONAL )NJURY !UTO  -OTORCYCLE !CCIDENTS )NJURED 0ASSENGERS "ICYCLE AND 0EDESTRIAN !CCIDENTS 3LIP AND &ALLS 3UPERMARKET 2ETAIL  0ARKING LOT )NJURIES

ˆ

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ˆ

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FLORIDA P.I.P LAW FIRM, P.A. CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Local 561-367-3256 Toll Free 888-948-2144

$WHUPE\WHUPEUHDNGRZQ Paul Tanner on board till January 2016 RIKRZ)$8­VDSSRLQWHG ˆ %TTSMRXIHF]XLI&SEVHSJ+SZIVRSVW WUXVWHHVJRWLQ Julius Teske on board till January 2016 ˆ

Sources: Constitution of the State of Florida, Florida Statute 286.011, FAU Board of Trustees Board Operations Policies and Procedures handbook, FAU Student Government constitution, FAU faculty constitution and bylaws, FLBOG. org, FAU.edu/BOT

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Thomas Workman Jr. on board till January 2013 ˆ

s s s s s s

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Sources: FLSenate.gov, FLBOG.org, FAU.edu/BOT

0ERSONAL )NJURY !UTO  -OTORCYCLE !CCIDENTS )NJURED 0ASSENGERS "ICYCLE AND 0EDESTRIAN !CCIDENTS 3LIP AND &ALLS 3UPERMARKET 2ETAIL  0ARKING LOT )NJURIES LOCAL

Abraham S. Ovadia, Esquire !44/2.%9 !"2!(!- /6!$)! IS AN &!5 Grad and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2009 and has already handled over two thousand insurance claims.

561.367.3256 s TOLL FREE 888.948.2144 s WWWFLORIDAPIPLAWFIRMCOM 2263 NW Boca Raton Blvd Suite 103, Boca Raton 33431 (next to FAU)

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

13


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in medical benefits and lost wages if you were in a car accident. Best of all, my services are free if you don’t recover any money.

No recovery, No fees or costs.

David Feder on board till January 2015

FLORIDA P.I.P LAW FIRM, P.A.

ˆ

'YVVIRXXIVQ%TTSMRXIHF]XLI&SEVHSJ+SZIVRSVW

ˆ

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CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Local 561-367-3256 Toll Free 888-948-2144

Angela Graham-­West on board till 2016 ˆ

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Jeffrey Feingold on board till January 2015 ˆ

%TTSMRXIHF]JSVQIV+SZ'LEVPMI'VMWX s s s s s s

Abdol Moabery on board till January 2016 ˆ

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Sheridan Plymale on board till January 2013

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In an auto accident? Injured? Neck or back pain? Need help? You may be entitled to $10,000

Anthony Barbar on board till January 2015

LOCAL

ˆ

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ˆ

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Robert Rubin on board till January 2015 ˆ

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Abraham S. Ovadia, Esquire !44/2.%9 !"2!(!- /6!$)! IS AN &!5 Grad and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2009 and has already handled over two thousand insurance claims.

561.367.3256 s TOLL FREE 888.948.2144 s WWWFLORIDAPIPLAWFIRMCOM 2263 NW Boca Raton Blvd Suite 103, Boca Raton 33431 (next to FAU)

In an auto accident? Injured? Neck or back pain? Need help? You may be entitled to $10,000

in medical benefits and lost wages if you were in a car accident. Best of all, my services are free if you don’t recover any money.

No recovery, No fees or costs.

Robert Stilley on board till January 2016

All  aboard

0ERSONAL )NJURY !UTO  -OTORCYCLE !CCIDENTS )NJURED 0ASSENGERS "ICYCLE AND 0EDESTRIAN !CCIDENTS 3LIP AND &ALLS 3UPERMARKET 2ETAIL  0ARKING LOT )NJURIES

ˆ

'YVVIRXXIVQ%TTSMRXIHF]XLI&SEVHSJ+SZIVRSVW

ˆ

*MVWXXIVQ%TTSMRXIHF]JSVQIV+SZ.IF&YWL

FLORIDA P.I.P LAW FIRM, P.A. CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Local 561-367-3256 Toll Free 888-948-2144

$WHUPE\WHUPEUHDNGRZQ Paul Tanner on board till January 2016 RIKRZ)$8­VDSSRLQWHG ˆ %TTSMRXIHF]XLI&SEVHSJ+SZIVRSVW WUXVWHHVJRWLQ Julius Teske on board till January 2016 ˆ

Sources: Constitution of the State of Florida, Florida Statute 286.011, FAU Board of Trustees Board Operations Policies and Procedures handbook, FAU Student Government constitution, FAU faculty constitution and bylaws, FLBOG. org, FAU.edu/BOT

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Thomas Workman Jr. on board till January 2013 ˆ

s s s s s s

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Sources: FLSenate.gov, FLBOG.org, FAU.edu/BOT

0ERSONAL )NJURY !UTO  -OTORCYCLE !CCIDENTS )NJURED 0ASSENGERS "ICYCLE AND 0EDESTRIAN !CCIDENTS 3LIP AND &ALLS 3UPERMARKET 2ETAIL  0ARKING LOT )NJURIES LOCAL

Abraham S. Ovadia, Esquire !44/2.%9 !"2!(!- /6!$)! IS AN &!5 Grad and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2009 and has already handled over two thousand insurance claims.

561.367.3256 s TOLL FREE 888.948.2144 s WWWFLORIDAPIPLAWFIRMCOM 2263 NW Boca Raton Blvd Suite 103, Boca Raton 33431 (next to FAU)

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

13


TrustyBunch

Features

The

Writing by James Shackelford Reporting by Karla Bowsher and James Shackelford

S

ome of FAU’s trustees have had financial and legal problems in the past (see page 4), but they aren’t all bad news. Some are very involved in their communities, and some run successful businesses. The Board of Trustees includes financial advisers, the CEO of an insurance company, a finance professor, a self-described homemaker, and the FAU student body president. They are all South Florida and Treasure Coast

Meet the real bosses

community members whose ages range from 44 to 68 — plus a 22-year-old student from Central Florida. So readers can get to know all 13 members of the board, the University Press obtained copies of the questionnaires that the trustees filled out prior to getting a position on the board. The following profiles contain information and excerpts written by the trustees in their questionnaires. To see PDFs of the complete questionnaires, visit upressonline.com/bot.

All photos courtesy of FAU media relations unless otherwise mentioned

FAU alum

DavidFeder

AnthonyBarbar Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee type: Government appointee

Age: 55

Age: 65

Trustee since: 2005

Trustee since: 2008

Race: White

Race: White

Political party: Republican

Political party: Republican

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

Occupation: Hotel manager at Turnberry

Occupation: President and CEO of Barbar

Isle Miami, a luxury resort Highest degree: Master’s in business administration, American University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have been in Florida since 1980 and a resident of Palm Beach County since 1987. I’ve been a president of a corporation and feel my private sector business expreience [sic] brings value to my role as a Board of Trustee [sic] at FAU.”

& Associates, LLC, a real estate consulting firm Highest degree: Bachelor’s in international business, Florida Atlantic University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Serving as a Trustee at both FAU & Palm Beach Atlantic Univ. provides the experience that most qualifies me for this appointment. Those responsibilities include working with the other trustees & administration to develop a strategic plan with benchmarks so progress can be determined. I have also served on other boards including as chairman.”

Trivia

Barbar is a member of the Board of Trustees at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a private Christian school located in West Palm Beach.

Sources: Barbar’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com, Barbar.com, PBA.edu

14

Trivia

Feder is a former president of Boca Raton Resort & Club, located on the Intracoastal a few miles from FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

Sources: Feder’s Questionnaires for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, TurnberryIsleMiami.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com


JeffreyFeingold

AngelaGraham-West Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee since: 2011

Trustee since: 2010

Age: 52

Age: 66

Race: African-American

Race: White

Political party: Republican

Political party: Republican

Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Occupation: Financial adviser for Raymond

Occupation: President and CEO of Managed

James & Associates Inc., a financial services firm Highest degree: Ph.D. in Education, Kansas State University Why she thinks she’s qualified: “My professional experice [sic] has been primarily within the financial services industry, both in Texas and Florida. Prior to returning to Kansas State University in 1990, I worked with a variety of companies: AT&T, Clairol and Banker’s Trust as a consultant in the Marketing and Information Technology fields. Upon making the decision to further my education, I was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Kansas State, where I also was a Research Fellow at the International Trade Institute. I feel that both the experience from within the theoretical construct and practical aspect through the financial services industry, I will contribute the working knowledge of faculty life with the ability to apply this knowledge to the University.”

Care of North America Inc., a dental insurance company; president and CEO of Dentaland Dental Centers, a group of dental offices Highest degree: Doctorate of dental surgery, New York University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have achieved the highest level of Certification in my Specialty (Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology) & Master of Science in Dentistry (Periodontology); Previously Co-Chairman Periodontics Dade County Dental Research Center; Published Articles in the Journal of Periodontology; President of one of the largest group dental practices in Florida and President of MCNA Dental Plans providing Medicaid, SCHIP, and Commercial Insurance.”

Trivia

Feingold has also served on boards at Tulane University, Columbia University and New York University.

Sources: Jeffrey Feingold, Feingold’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, Dentaland.net, MCNA.net

Trivia

Sources: Graham-West’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, AllenWestForCongress.com, State.FL.US

RobertHuffman

WilliamMcDaniel

Trustee type: Student body president Trustee since: 2012 Age: 22 Race: White Political party: Democratic Hometown: Murfeesboro, Tenn. Occupation: Student body president Highest degree: Currently pursuing a

Trustee type: Faculty Senate president Trustee since: 2011 Age: 66 Race: White Political party: Republican Hometown: Kansas City, Mo. Occupation: Professor of finance Highest degree: Doctorate of philosophy in

bachelor’s in marketing

finance, Georgia State University Why he thinks he’s qualified: McDaniel is one of two Board of Trustees members who did not seek appointment to the board: He automatically became a Board of Trustees member when he became president of FAU’s Faculty Senate. According to the Faculty Senate bylaws, the duties of the the president

Why he thinks he’s qualified: Huffman

is one of two Board of Trustees members who did not seek appointment to the board: He automatically became a Board of Trustees member when he became student body president. According to the Student Government constitution, the duties of the president include serving on the board.

include serving on the board.

Trivia

McDaniel has worked at FAU for 36 years. Prior to that, he worked as an instructor at Georgia State University for two years.

Sources: FAU application, FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

Before becoming a financial adviser at Raymond James & Associates, Graham-West worked as a lecturer and professor at Kansas State University’s business school for eight years.

Photo by Charles Pratt

Trivia

Huffman started FAU’s Movember team. The Movember Foundation raises awareness of prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Huffman’s team has raised about $6,000 by growing mustaches, which were sponsored by donors.

Sources: Robert Huffman, FAU Media Relations Department, FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies. com, Movember.com continued on page 16

15


continued from page 15

RobertRubin

Sheridan Plymale Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee since: 2001

Trustee since: 2010

Age: 65

Age: 50

Race: White

Race: White

Political party: Republican

Political party: Republican

Hometown: Bryn Mawr, Penn.

Hometown: Boston, Mass.

Occupation: Homemaker

Occupation: President of Rubin Wealth

Bachelor’s, Saint Leo College (now Saint Leo University) Why she thinks she’s qualified: “I believe that universities need BOT members who understand; 1) the history of the [State University System of Florida] since the restructuring, 2) the BOG devolution in 2003 to the univ. BOT’s, 3) The establishment of the BOG authorities, 4) the legislative dynamic with the BOG, and 5) advocacy for ‘their’ university within the context of advocacy for the SUS system. The educational continuity for our students is paramount as we struggle through this higher ed realignment.”

Advisors, LLC, a wealth management firm Highest degree: Bachelor’s in finance, University of South Florida Why he thinks he’s qualified: “As a graduate of the University of South Florida and a current member of the FAU Foundation Board [FAU’s fundraising arm], Florida’s Universities mean a great deal to me. I believe my 25 years of professional experience in Wealth Management and my community involvement and contacts will be useful to FAU.”

Highest degree:

Trivia

Plymale has chaired the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the Treasure Coast and served on the Board of Trustees of Saint Leo University, her alma mater, in Central Florida.

Sources: Plymale’s most recent Questionnaire for Gubernatorial Appointments, FAU.edu, FLBOG.org, SaintLeo.edu, YMCATreasureCoast.org

FAU alum

Trivia

Sources: Robert Rubin, Rubin’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, RubinWA. com, SunBiz.org

JuliusTeske

PaulTanner Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee type: Government appointee

Trustee since: 2011

Trustee since: 2011

Age: 55

Age: 66

Race: White

Race: White

Political party: Republican

Political party: Republican

Hometown: Brookline, Mass.

Hometown: Elizabeth, N.J.

Senior vice president of investments at UBS, an international company that provides wealth and asset management and investment banking Highest degree: Bachelor’s in political science, Florida Atlantic University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have served on the Broward College Board of Trustees for the past 7 years and am deeply involved in the [illegible word] of higher education to improve Florida’s workforce. Plus I am an FAU alum.”

Occupation: Former assistant superintendent

Occupation:

Trivia

Tanner has served on the Boards of Trustees of Broward College and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.

Sources: Paul Tanner, Tanner’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, UBS.com, Broward.edu, MODS.org

16

Rubin has been involved with FAU since the 1990s, when his oldest son was diagnosed with autism by FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Rubin has also been active in local charities such as the Autism Project of Palm Beach County and Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida.

of human resources for the School District of Indian River County (retired in 2010) Highest degree: Doctorate of education in educational management, Nova Southeastern University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Thirty six years as a professional educator.”

Trivia

Before serving as assistant superintendent of human resources, Teske was interim superintendent of schools and a middle school principal for the School District of Indian River County.

Sources: Teske’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu continued on page 18 May 15, 2012

upressonline.com


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May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

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continued on page 16

FAU alum FAU alum

Trustee type: Government appointee Trustee since: 2011 Age: 44 Race: White* Political party: Republican Hometown: Iran* Occupation: President and CEO of GA

ThomasWorkman-Jr Trustee type: Government appointee Trustee since: 2008 Age: 68

Race: White

Telesis, LLC, a commercial aerospace company Highest degree: Bachelor’s in international business management, Florida Atlantic University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “I have significant management experience derived from the experience gained in the United States Navy as well as over a career in management, including serving as President & CEO of GA Telesis over the past nine years where the company achieved an average growth rate of 26%.”

Political party: Republican Hometown: Camden, N.J.

Occupation: President of Thomas Workman

& Associates, an accounting firm Highest degree: Bachelor’s in accounting, Florida Atlantic University Why he thinks he’s qualified: “Having lived in Boca Raton before FAU was started, I know its history and have been able to see the University develop into the fine institution it is today. I am currently Treasurer of the FAU Foundation and Past President of the FAU National Alumni Association. I’ve been very involved in FAU activities and believe my knowledge and experience at FAU will be a great asset to the FAU Board of Trustees.”

Trivia

Workman is a past president and vice president of the American Heart Association’s Boca Raton chapter.

Sources: Workman’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, PoliticalStrategies.com, WorkmanCPA.com,

AbdolMoabery

*Moabery, who moved to the U.S. at age 1, considers himself an American of Middle Eastern descent.

Trivia

Moabery was looking for a loan to start his current business, GA Telesis, around the time of Sept. 11, 2001. Once 9/11 happened, he struggled to find a loan. “I started to talk to banks, to hedge funds, to investors, and just about every one of them threw it in the garbage,” he said of his business plan. So to pursue the plan, Moabery sold everything he owned except his home.

Sources: Abdol Moabery, Abdol Moabery’s Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, GATelesis.com, Moabery’s Executive Forum speech on Oct. 20, 2011, at FAU’s College of Business

Robert Stilley Trustee type: Government appointee Trustee since: 2006 Age: 55

Race: White

Political party: Republican

Hometown: Natrona Heights, Penn.

President of HeartCare Imaging Inc., a medical testing and equipment company Highest degree: Bachelor’s in business, University of Florida Why he thinks he’s qualified: “20+ years of executive mgt, service on numerous local boards, local volunteer work in Palm Beach, Martin counties. I am a long term Floridian and understand the need to provide an environment that will meet the needs of our students and industry and state.” Occupation:

Trivia

Stilley coaches his daughter’s softball team, the Jupiter Seahawks. In 2008 and 2010, the Seahawks made it to the U.S. Specialty Sports Association’s Fast Pitch Softball World Series.

Coming June 15

MeetFAU a collection of profiles on the most interesting and odd of campus.

Think that’s you? Tell us at upress@fau.edu.

Sources: Stilley’s most recent Questionnaire for Senate Confirmation, FAU.edu, HeartCareImaging.com, JTAA.org, TCPalm.com

18

May 15, 2012

upressonline.com


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May 15, 2012

upressonline.com

19


Opinion

Appearance of impropriety the

C

ontrol over Florida’s 11 public universities traces back to a single political position — which requires no experience in higher ed. The governor hand-picks most of the officials who call the shots for schools like FAU. Those officials decide everything from the cost of dorm rooms to the salaries of university presidents. At the state level, a 17-member Board of Governors, or “BOG,” rules our universities. The governor fills 14 of those spots with whomever he wants. Locally, one 13-member Board of Trustees rules each university. The governor fills six of those spots, and the BOG fills five. That means 84 percent of the people who run the state university system, or “SUS,” are directly or indirectly chosen by one political position. Combine that almost-monopoly with lax vetting and it’s no wonder the SUS looks like the governor’s crony club.

Pay to play? The board has six members who were appointed by a governor. Half of them had previously donated money to the governor who appointed them. •

Why the Board of Trustees looks like a crony club Writing by Karla Bowsher Reporting by Karla Bowsher and James Shackelford

WHAT VETTING?

It turns out the government does a half-ass job of scrutinizing potential SUS officials. A University Press investigation revealed that three FAU trustees seem to have lied on their applications. Half appear to have bought their way in. And half hide skeletons like federal lawsuits, bankruptcy filings and foreclosures in their closets. I got few answers from the Capitol. Virginia Haworth in the governor’s Appointments Office told me Gov. Rick Scott picks SUS officials “based on their backgrounds.” But when I asked her to define “backgrounds,” she said that information “isn’t part of the public part of [their] process” and then directed me to the governor’s press people. Press Secretary Lane Wright only gave me political-speak before hanging up. Gov. Scott, he said, looks for someone who “sincerely wants to do the job,” “is well qualified for the position,” and shares Scott’s “vision for improving education and creating jobs.” Press people at the Board of Governors and the Senate president’s office told me they run Florida Department of Law Enforcement background checks on applicants, but that would only reveal criminal activity, not troubling financial histories.

Pants on fire

Three trustees appear to have lied on the applications or questionnaires they filled out — and submitted to state agencies — when they applied to join the board. None of them responded to interview requests. “No”

certified public accountant license

Former Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Trustee Plymale

• Trustee

Barbar

answered

when his first- and second-term

in 1973, but state records say he

in 2008. Plymale had donated $500 to Crist in

apps asked, “Have any judgments

October 2006, one month before he was elected

been entered against you as a

• David Feder checked the “No” box

governor.

result of any civil or administrative

when his latest app asked, “Have you

Crist appointed Trustee Rubin in 2010. Rubin had

proceedings?”

1990,

ever been the object of any equal

donated $1,000 to Crist in 2009, when he was

multiple judgments of foreclosure,

employment opportunity complaint

running for senator.

tax warrants and other debts have

or any civil action based upon

Crist appointed Trustee Feingold in 2010. Feingold

been issued against him or his

discrimination in the workplace?”

had donated $500 to Crist in February 2002 and

companies.

But in 2000, a disabled man filed a

But

since

didn’t receive it till 1981.

$500 in October 2002, one month before he

• Trustee Workman answered “No” to

civil lawsuit against one of Feder’s

was elected attorney general. One of Feingold’s

the same question on his app. But

now-defunct companies because

companies had donated $500 in October 2006 and

in the 1990s, multiple judgments of

it allegedly broke the Americans

$4,800 in June 2009.

foreclosure and other debts were

With Disabilities Act, a federal law

issued against him or his companies.

that prohibits discrimination against

Sources: FLSenate.gov, FLBOG.org, FAU.edu/BOT, Center for Responsive Politics (aka OpenSecrets.org), National Institute on Money in State Politics (aka FollowTheMoney.org)

• Workman wrote on his app and

disabled people.

questionnaire that he received his

Sources: Court documents, trustee applications and questionnaires

20

Continued on page 22 May 15, 2012

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May 15, 2012

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21


Continued from page 20

References schmeferences Before FAU’s trustees joined the board, they filled out an application. Once they were chosen for the position, they filled out a questionnaire for the Senate, which had to formally approve of them to make their positions official. Like any other job applications, those forms ask potential trustees for references. Applicants may also opt to have letters of recommendation written on their behalf. When I interviewed the chair of the Board of Trustees, Robert Stilley, he

Former Senator Durell Peaden

donated to Crist five times for

wrote a letter about Trustee

a total of $6,300.

42.3 male, 57.7%

84.6% male, 15.4% female

female

Ethinicity

his first term. One of Barbar’s

her third term, listed Florida

7.7% other minority

now-defunct companies had

State

unknown

previously donated $500 to

Chancellor (and former FAU

Peaden.

president) Frank Brogan as

Trustee

Jeffrey former

Feingold

Rep.

University

System

a reference on her first- and

Adam

second-term

questionnaires.

Hasner as a reference on his

Plymale

app and questionnaire. One

donated $500 to Brogan.

Feingold’s

companies

had

previously

Plymale listed Senator Joe

had previously donated to

Negron as a reference on

Hasner four times for a total

her second- and third-term

of $2,000.

apps. Plymale had previously

Feingold

listed

former

General

donated

Bill

McCollum as a reference on

to

Negron

three

times for a total of $745. •

Former Senator Ken Pruitt

his app and questionnaire.

wrote a letter about Plymale

One of Feingold’s companies

when she applied for her third

had previously donated to

term. Plymale had previously

McCollum twice for a total of

donated $200 to Pruitt.

$1,000.

Trustee Stilley listed Senator

Feingold listed Florida CFO

Joe Negron as a reference on

Jeff Atwater as a reference

his first-term app. Stilley later

on his app and questionnaire.

donated $1,000 to Negron.

Feingold donated

had to

previously

Atwater

three

Trustee Teske listed Bernard Grall as a reference on his app

times for a total of $1,750.

and questionnaire. Teske had

Feingold listed former Gov.

previously donated to former

Charlie Crist as a reference

Florida House candidate Erin

on his app and questionnaire.

Grall twice for a total of $140.

Feingold

Erin is Bernard’s daughter.

had

previously

Sources: Robert Stilley, trustee applications and questionnaires, Center for Responsive Politics (aka OpenSecrets.org), National Institute on Money in State Politics (aka FollowTheMoney.org)

22

Gender

84.6% white, 7.7% black,

Attorney

Board of Trustees

28% other minorities, 3%

of

Student body

51.6% white, 17.4% black,

listed

Before President Obama spoke at the Boca Raton campus last month, FAU President Mary Jane Saunders bragged about diversity. “FAU now ranks as the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse institution in Florida’s State University System,” she said,” with a 29,000-member student body that reflects the richly interwoven human tapestry of our state.” But FAU’s Board of Trustees? Not so much.

Plymale, the only trustee on

Barbar when he applied for

was skeptical of the bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, and other financial problems that I said lurked in his colleagues’ pasts. “There’s probably a logical explanation to what happened or they wouldn’t have been put on the board,” Stilley said. He went on to cite the trustees’ references, as if reference checks would have prevented financially troubling applicants from getting onto the board. But the references that five of our current trustees provided are politicians they or their companies have donated money to.

Unequal representation

Sources: Trustee questionnaires, FAU 2011-2012 Fact Book, FAU.edu/Obama

WHERE IT WENT WRONG

The flaws in Florida’s state university system have been in and out of the news since circa 1990, when boards of trustees were created to rule universities locally. Before that, the SUS only had state-wide rulers. By expanding the system, lawmakers expanded the governor’s control, allowing them to appoint state and local leaders, building the crony club membership in the process. Opponents of the expansion say it also gave too much control to the universities. Boards of trustees, they say, allow universities to put their best interests before those of the state. One of those opponents is a former SUS chancellor, a position that monitors the Board of Governors. Charles B. Reed served as chancellor from 1986 to 1998, when he ditched it to become California’s SUS chancellor. “There is no cohesive mission or commitment holding it together,” he said of our SUS in a November speech published by the Tampa Bay Times. “We are lacking a

strong central plan or sense of purpose in higher education.” He’s right. Check out the Board of Governors’ mission: “To mobilize resources and diverse constituencies to govern and advance the State University System of Florida.” That’s a conveniently nebulous catch-all. It’s vague enough that trustees with no prior experience in higher ed could “advance” the SUS in their or their assigned university’s best interests without considering the SUS as a whole. But Florida’s current chancellor, FAU alum Frank Brogan, sees an upside to the upset. “The fact is, higher education is beginning to get the kind of attention that it has long deserved,” Brogan told the Tampa Bay Times in January. “It requires everybody to be on a very similar page, too. I think we’re getting there.” I wonder how many more dubiously qualified friends of the governor will handle the purse strings of higher ed — and the future of Florida’s workforce — before we get there. May 15, 2012

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May 15, 2012

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