| | Advanced Search

 

State Report: Marijuana Tax + Bill Targets Prostitutes and Pimps—Plus increased sentences for gang crimes

John Rooke - Thinking Out Loud—JR's column on the sports stories and personalities…

RI Beauty Insider: Pedi Nation – Get the Best Pedicure Ever—A guide to finding a pristine pedi place

Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail—Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail

Arthur Schaper: Grand Theft Auto Cicilline—MINDSETTER Arthur Schaper examine's Cicilline's role in Prov's…

Five Live Music Musts – April 18, 2014—Great vibes await

Report: Preston Murphy Leaving URI for Boston College—Preston Murphy Leaves URI for Boston College

EXCLUSIVE: Bryant Tells Grads No Selfies with President at Grad—Prohibiting selfies?

PC Athletics gets high marks—Friar winter sports #1 among Big East schools...

NEW: Providence’s Al Forno Featured as a Best Pizza Spot in the US—Another accolade for Al Forno

 
 

Education Experts Raise Questions About CCRI Spending

Friday, December 06, 2013

 

The President'sResidence on CCRI's Knight Campus.

The recent GoLocal investigation into finances at the Community College of Rhode Island has prompted reactions from both the student community at the two-year college -- as well as taxpayer groups in the state, and commentary from national education experts on the state of spending at colleges across the country.

The look into the spending at the two-year community college revealed that $50,000 has gone towards pool maintenance on the President's property on campus since along with a new fence, as well as over $20,000 in expenses to the private University Club in Providence by President Di Pasquale since taking the position in 2006.

Di Pasquale, whose salary was increased to $265,000 in 2010 when appointed to the role of interim Commissioner of Higher Education, retained the compensation in his last contract while now only serving as President of CCRI once again.

RI Tax Groups on Record

Monique Chartier with the group RI Taxpayers said, "The salary of CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale certainly warrants immediate attention. Why hasn't it been adjusted now that he is no longer Commissioner of Higher Education? Who is minding the store? Have other such potential over-expenditures been overlooked?"

"State aid to Rhode Island's institutions of higher education has steadily declined for several years, often necessitating an increase in tuition. More so than ever, accordingly, every expenditure in the budgets of CCRI, RIC and URI must be scrutinized," said Chartier.

Clark Greene, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Board of Education, had told GoLocal, "Great attention is paid to higher education spending. This office maintains an internal audit function, and and extensive external audit is performed each year. No irregularities were reported in the audits."

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity took issue, however, with instances of "wasteful spending" -- and called for the state to to action, and specifically regarding the tax code.  

CEO Mike Stenhouse said, "These instances of wasteful spending, combined with earlier reports about excessive overtime pay, as well as fraud within our public assistance programs, and so many other examples we have seen over the years, should give legislators the cover to implement sales tax or other tax reforms that lessen the burden on Rhode Island families and businesses, by highlighting low hanging spending items that can easily be cut to pay for those reforms."

National Trends

Rory O'Sullivan with the national advocacy group Young Invincibles who are "representing the interests of 18 to 34 year-olds and making sure that [our] perspective is heard wherever decisions about our collective future are being made," spoke with GoLocal about trends in higher education costs -- and spending.

"We've done a lot of research and student debt, and when you look at what's driving these trends, and debt, a lot is cutbacks in state investments. We used to spend a lot more per student than we do now," said O'Sullivan. "At community colleges and four year public schools, we don't spend more per student than we did four years ago. That is less true at private colleges and universities."

O'Sullivan continued, "More and more of the burden is on students and families. The natural questions is, where are the priorities? It's important to understand the constraints that state budgets present, but also to look a where dollars are going."

O'Sullivan noted that the advocacy group worked to inform -- and empower -- young people in policy decisions.

"We work to educate students across the country -- and give them the tools to understand where their state budget is at," said O'Sullivan. "Our expertise is with the national trends -- we've also looked into tax code issues, and tax breaks on municipal bonds for instance. For instance, should we be spending those dollars to make it cheaper to build that athletic field, or should we be putting it towards grants to make college more affordable?"

Dr. Richard Vedder, who is the Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and distinguished Professor at Ohio University, spoke with GoLocal as well about trends in higher education spending.

"Universities aren't tightening their belts very much," said Vedder. "Staffing has increased, spending has increased. Looking at college presidents -- that has shown quite a bit of increase in the last number of years than say the salaries of faculty or people in the general population."

Vedder, who is the author over several books including Going Broke by Degree, said, "There is a spending race going on in higher ed -- it's inconvertible. Costs are exploding."

As for financing an education with loans -- a "stop-gap way of financing," according to Vedder, the professor was blunt. "The burden of borrowing has gotten too great -- it could even come to an end. People are starting to say no to college." 


Related Slideshow:
CCRI: Residence and U. Club Spending

Prev Next

U. Club '08 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $6,203.24

Top 5 Expenses

1. July 24, 2007: Membership Dues & Entrance Fees, $3,225.00

2. Oct. 30, 2007: Food Charges, $601.40

3. (Tie) Oct. 30, 2007: Membership Dues, $450.00

3. (Tie) Feb. 8, 2008: Membership Dues, $450.00

3. (Tie) April 29, 2008: Membership Dues, $450.00

Photo: Flickr/EwenRoberts

Prev Next

U. Club '09 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $3,252.11

Top 5 Expenses

1. Oct. 23, 2008: Charges Thru 9/30/08, $1,191.72

2. Feb. 10, 2009: Charges Thru 12/31/08, $587.18

3. Aug. 18, 2008: Charges Thru 6/30/08, $463.75

4. June 30, 2009: Charges Thru 6/30/09, $331.05

5. March 12, 2009: Charges Thru 2/28/09, $162.91

Photo: Flickr/AlenaAlioshina

Prev Next

U. Club '10 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $666.93

All Expenses

1. June 9, 2010: Charges Thru 5/31/10, $259.22

2. May 6, 2010: Charges Thru 4/31/10, $150.38

3. Dec. 23, 2009: Charges Thru 11/30/09, $147.97

4. Nov. 9, 2009: Charges Thru 10/31/09, $109.36

Photo: Flickr/copperblue2

Prev Next

U. Club '11 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $1,402.77

Top 5 Expenses

1. Feb. 8, 2011: Charges Thru 12/31/10 & 1/31/11, $295.67

2. Oct. 20, 2010: Charges at University Club, $202.52

3. May 17, 2011: Beverage/Restaurant Lunch, $184.41

4. April 7, 2011: Restaurant Lunch, $149.31

5. Sept. 21, 2010: Charges Thru 8/31/10, $135.81

Photo: Flickr/khamerica

Prev Next

U. Club '12 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $5,079.48

Top 5 Expenses

1. Feb. 9, 2012: Function/Beverage Restaurant, $760.19

2. May 8, 2012: Charges Thru 4/30/12, $470.08

3. June 6, 2012: Function Restaurant, $357.48

4. Nov. 4, 2011: Restaurant Dinner, $351.32

5. June 6, 2012: Restaurant Dinner, $255.96

Photo: Flickr/Nick J Webb

Prev Next

U. Club '13 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $2,403.85

Top 5 Expenses

1. May 16, 2013: Function/Beverage Restaurant, $355.21

2. May 16, 2013: Function/Beverage Restaurant, $337.73

3. June 27, 2013: VPAA Candidate Dinner, $300.21

4. May 16, 2013: Function/Beverage Restaurant, $215.46

5. May 16, 2013: Dinner Restaurant/Beverage, $200.88

Photo: Flickr/Super Fantastic

Prev Next

U. Club '14 Spending

Total Amount for Year: $1,066.95

Top 5 Expenses

1. Aug. 6, 2013: VPAA Candidate Dinner, $256.21

2. Aug. 6, 2013: VPAA Candidate Dinner, $218.37

3. Aug. 6, 2013: Restaurant Lunch, 201.69

4. Aug. 6, 2013: VPAA Candidate Dinner, $186.34

5. Aug. 6, 2013: VPAA Candidate Dinner, $184.15

Photo: Flickr/sh0dan

Prev Next

Knight Estate '06 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $24,700.56

Pool Costs: $3,569.20

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Date Unavailable: Cost of fuel for estate, $7,814.88

2. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity for estate, $2,977.04

3. July 19, 2006: Repair/refasten handrails at estate, $2,269.00

4. Aug. 2, 2006: Upholstery and carpet cleaning at estate, $2,183.75

5. Aug. 2, 2006: Washer and dryer replacement, $1,388.95

Photo: Flickr/Leshaines123

Prev Next

Knight Estate '07 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $55,252.03

Pool Costs: $3,488.75

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Sept. 12, 2007: Water damage repair to residence, $12,900.00

2. Sept. 28, 2007: Cost of fuel for estate, $11,713.98

3. Oct. 25, 2007: Dome construction, $6,205.70

4. June 25, 2007: Storm window replacement, $5,786.00

5. June 5, 2007: Final external chimney repair, $3,813.00

Photo: Flickr/andrewcbraithwaite

Prev Next

Knight Estate '08 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $50,575.12

Pool Costs: $25,262.04

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Nov. 20, 2008: Cost of fuel for estate, $8,003.13

2. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity for estate, $4,425.67

3. Sept. 10, 2008: Removal of four trees, $2,483.50

4. Aug. 1, 2008: Repair broken glass on garage, $2,044.00

5. Date Unavailable: Internet and cable, $1,154.80

Photo: Flickr/brandonthemandon

Prev Next

Knight Estate '09 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $63,238.68

Pool Costs: $3,115.85

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Dec. 3, 2009: New Carriage House roofing system, $37,232.00

2. Oct. 16, 2009: Cost of fuel for estate, $8,843.96

3. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity for estate, $4,273.23

4. Oct. 21, 2009: Tree and limb removal, $1,404.00

5. Date Unavailable: Internet and cable, $1,197.98

Photo: Flickr/lesanimaiux

Prev Next

Knight Estate '10 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $23,592.93

Pool Costs: $2,680.00

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Oct. 20, 2010: Cost of fuel for estate, $11,743.42

2. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity for estate, $4,325.18

3. Jan. 6, 2010: Tree and limb removal, $1,404.00

4. Date Unavailable: Internet and cable, $1,277.66

5. Date Unavailable: Phone, $856.05

Photo: Flickr/lAlexBramwell

Prev Next

Knight Estate '11 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $30,039.48

Pool Costs: $3,173.65

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. Oct. 24, 2011: Cost of fuel for estate, $9,889.28

2. Oct. 26, 2011: Tree and limb removal (hurricane damage), $3,806.00

3. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity, $2,908.81

4. Date Unavailable: Phone and wireless access, $1,964.19

5. Oct. 17, 2011: Transplant trees at estate, $1755.00

Photo: Flickr/Pascal

Prev Next

Knight Estate '12 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $28,653.39

Pool Costs: $6,355.29

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. July 1, 2012: Cost of fuel for estate, $12,816.63

2. Date Unavailable: Cost of electricity, $2,860.14

3. Date Unavailable: Phone and wireless access, $1,746.94

4. Date Unavailable: Internet and cable, $1,354.36

5. July 20, 2012: Repair pure water system, $1,189.99

Photo: Flickr/chloe004

Prev Next

Knight Estate '13 Costs

Total Amount for Year: $37,565.42

Pool Costs: $3,565.00

Top 5 Non-Pool Expenses

1. April 1, 2013: A & E for renovation of Knight residence, $31,400.00

2. July 29, 2013: Cost of fuel for estate, $712.42

3. March 21, 2013: Emergency roof repair, $768.00

4. June 18, 2013: Tent rental for college event at estate, $620.00

5. July 2, 2013: Tent rental for college event at estate, $500.00

Photo: Flickr/BrahmMeyer

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Comments:

Mark St. Pierre

Typical Rhode Island

Joyce Bryant

Karma will get them all in the end, and Karma is a bitch.

Jim D

The Herald should buy GoLocalProv and run a small paper down here. The circulation would quickly out distance the lib Projo.




Commenting is not available in this channel entry.