The College of Arts & Communications is costing the taxpayers of West Virginia a lot of money. Here’s why.
In the past posts, we have dealt with the injustice visited upon former president Robin Capehart by a lawless and despicable faculty senate. We have accounted for the unjust and illegal attacks upon his family, and his daughter in particular.
Most of these attacks have come from the College of Arts & Com at WLU. The attacks and false accusations originated from many professors and the Dean. We allege that the reason was basically a cover-up for their own fiscal malfeasance. The enrollment reports only state part of the story.
Documents obtained by us here, demonstrate that Arts & Com is by far and away the most fiscally irresponsible college on campus. Unlike nearly every other college, they are losing money, and losing it badly, thus causing harm to the body of WLU. It is an appendage that must be stricken for the salvation of WLU.
In February 2015, then president Capehart sent out a restructuring plan to the college for public comment. It was this plan that might partially explain the cause of Arts & Com to saber rattle. In the document we notice that Arts & Com has gained enrollment since it became its own entity. This is a generous calculation since the college has actually lost students more than likely due to the hostile atmosphere by faculty with an ax to grind and a job to protect. Yet, the document proposes the saving of money by merging Arts & Com with the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
As we noted in several posts the Arts & Com Dean and the faculty objected.
The document does not single them out, however. That merge is merely one in several proposals to save the college money, streamline the budget, and provide a sense of responsibility in the units that manage funds and students. None of the proposals, from a taxpayer and fiscal standpoint, are all that radical. Indeed, it is what we see state and local governments do all the time to make taxpayer monies go farther and the government more efficient.
Before we continue, it needs to be stated unequivocally, that WLU’s financial health was in decent shape, as determined by an outside audit just before Capehart resigned. For anyone to claim Capehart bankrupted WLU is a lie—there’s no other way to put it.
Arts & Com is another matter. In documents obtained by this author utilizing a concept called Responsible Centered Budgeting, and while looking at each division of the college, Arts & Com loses money badly and drains the college coffers substantially. Transparency and accountability show that it either needs to be abolished, or merged with the CLA. Looking at the numbers per unit, by including revenues, tuition, student credit hours, majors, degree production, tuition differentials, graduate course fees, summer term revenues and expenses from the 2015 academic and fiscal years, we have a clear picture of why Arts & Com wanted Capehart gone—they were running what amounts to a taxpayer slush fund for their own monetary gain while also producing an inferior product/education for the cost. Capehart, in the spirit of transparency, uncovered this malfeasance. What they wanted viz. Capehart was an incumbent protection act to save their jobs and salvage a fiefdom.
To make matters simple, if we add revenues and then subtract costs, we get a sense of whether a college unit is paying its way or being a drain.
For FY 2015 Arts & Com had nearly $2 million in revenues. Accounting for some of the costs that a university shares (thus the subtractions are decreased by Arts & Com) we find that the overall expenses of Arts and come reaches $3 million. Depending on where you mark that shared cost—at 20% or 35%—we come up with the same difference. Yes, you read that right: their expenses outstrip their revenues by about $1 million dollars each year no matter how the shared expense cost is calculated. Talk about bankrupting the college!
Something has to be done if WLU is to survive. Quite obviously the Dean and faculty there do not want to lose their jobs, or their nice little arrangement. Any change would challenge their freedom and mobility to do what they want there, with cash they take from other units at WLU. But the taxpayers deserve an accounting, and they deserve to not have their money go to waste. The students are in the same boat: their tuition is funding this fiscal drain, not their own majors. So, science majors, business majors, and the like, are finding their tuition dollars go to a college on campus that’s failing and spending those revenues responsibly. Their tuition is not being used to fund their degree, it is going to another part of the college with a poor fiscal management practice and few students.
Given all we’ve uncovered at WLU, are we really surprised?