Connecting-the-Cornhusker Dots: NU’s New Foundation Emperor – Brian Hastings – Came from America’s Most Predatory Public University aka Ohio State; As Such, Surely, Hastings Wined & Dined Donors in Gordon’s Gee’s $2 Million-Dollar Penthouse; So, was it Hasting’s Idea to Purchase Milliken’s House & “Re-Decorate” It?

September 14, 2012


LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

This week the Lincoln Journal Star (LJS) published an article on the NU Foundation wanting to “purchase” poor President Milliken’s home because of one fake reason or the other. Anonymous donors. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know the drill.

The blogosphere immediately lit up with Cornhuskers livid about such a cockamamie proposal put forth while Nebraskans remain in the grip of the Great Recession.

Question: Will today’s obsequious LJS “coverage” of the NU Regents meeting quote any source who stands in opposition to this idea. No. The LJS’s Kevin Abourezk will not.

Instead, he will quote NU Regent Jim McClurg whose wife makes $110,000 (one hundred ten thousand dollars) as an NU employee at the Raikes School.

Beyond that blatant nepotism, why have we not learned whose idea this was; after all, NU President Milliken seems to have been happy in his Sheridan Boulevard digs until the new NU Foundation titan, Brian Hastings, took over just a few weeks ago.

Ya think that when Mr. Hastings learned he wouldn’t be able to hit up potential donors day in a home nearly as lavish as Ohio State’s Predatory President, Mr. Gordon Gee’s opulent penthouse, Hastings came up with the idea of “purchasing” Milliken’s home. That way all the soon-to-be extensive “re-decorating” will be able to go forward without President Milliken having to spend nary a penny of his $400,000 + plus salary.

President Milliken should be able – like the rest of America’s “Pretend-Public” but really Predatory University Presidents/ Chancellors/Vice-Chancellors et al – to simply sock away – aka as “invest” – their entire salaries so that they become wealthy while the “little people” end up with life-altering, predatory student loan debt. OMG, they’re University Presidents, my Friends.

NU’s Platte RiVersailles actions – seriously – are so over-the-top these days that you can understand the Prairie Peasants increasing fed-up-ness.

Just take a look at what they really think; yet, the LJS refuses to quote a single one of them. By the way, I’m sure the LJS could get their cell numbers and include a quote or two from outraged Nebraskans. But, again, will they? Nope. They won’t. But here for your edification, are some of the LJS Commenters complaining about the proposal:

18) Comments

  1. Leroy
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    Leroy – September 10, 2012 9:28 pm
    That’s great. And this just 5 months after two friends at UNL were RIF’d. UNL is going to be so top heavy that at some point the bottom won’t be able to support it.
  2. Land Grant University Reform
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    Land Grant University Reform – September 10, 2012 4:52 am
    Fifteen Comments and all are adamantly against this shameful proposal: another planned Ivory Tower Heist.

    The truth: NU’s rubber-stamping Regents are using worn-out dogma and self-serving rationales merely to justify excess. Just like Wall Street.

    Here’s a better way to view the University “Executive Salary Equity & Perks” Arms Race. Just because the President of Ohio State buys a cherry-red, gas-guzzling Hummer and brags about it, does that mean that NU should buy a Hummer 3 on steroids. Or a tank.

    If the rapacious Gordon Gee retrofitted an aircraft carrier and drove that around his Ohio campus, should Nebraska’s five Chancellors follow?

    No. They should not. NU Chancellors should buy a small, “smart” car and feel content—and proud–that they are not taking part in the immoral and bad-business-driven belief that bigger is always better…

    Or that more money for already-wealthy Corporate Chancellors – formerly known as Public Servants – can continue to be justified when the lavish salaries of the PUBLIC “hyper-trophying hordes of University Presidents/Chancellors/Vice-Chancellors/Deans & Provosts” are a core contributor to America’s ever-escalating, obscene economic disparity.

    This bears repeating: Predatory College Presidents and their BFF’s, predatory student loan lenders, have helped to create the United States of a Mess. Remember, NELNET didn’t fleece the U.S. taxpayer all by their “loan-somes.” NELNET had NU’s help and the NU Foundation got around $22 million dollars for their role in the nefarious NU/NELNET “Partnership” that happened right after NU President Milliken came to power and when uber-lobbyist Kim Robak was NU Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs. She resigned from NU one month after the NELNET/NU “Partnership” and shortly afterwards, the Mueller-Robak lobbying firm began receiving $45,000 a year from NELNET, an arrangement that continues to this day.

    NU’s Regents don’t seem to understand that they should be ROLLING BACK NU salaries and perks rather than increasing them. Students are suffering, Sirs, and you’re supposed to be Stewards for them.

    A recent USA Today article begins: “At least one person on campus has done okay as the economy has declined: public university presidents’ salaries climbed 37.6 per cent last year…” while tuition continues to skyrocket and hard-working American students are stuck with soul-crushing predatory student loan debt.

    University Presidents et al are supposed to be leaders but in Nebraska, it’s clear that it’s just the reverse. NU’s Regents & NU’s Presidents are being led to fiscal sanity by We the People.

    But boy, that is definitely happening. When LGUR first started, it seemed a bit lonely talking about the legacy of the Land Grant Act but all one has to do is read the LJS Comments and the Omaha World-Herald to know how much that’s changed.

    Here’s the reality: Nebraskans see the Big Picture far better than NU’s Regents, NU’s President, & NU’s Four Chancellors who are being paid excessively by citizens who have more vision than the Ivory Tower does. Wow.

    Ironic and sad at the same time.

    The good news: the college reform tipping point has arrived. And while NU’s Regents et al continue to show their clique-like cluelessness about the Lives of Others, it’s still just a question of time before NU will be officially reined in either by the ballot, by an Inspector General, or via legislative mandate.

    A final note: NU repeatedly seeks increases by referencing that they’re only doing so because they’re stuck at a “mid-point” with their “Peers” in the Big Ten.

    My answer: “Peer Pressure, isn’t that what Educators teach Middle Schoolers to ignore?”

  3. Mr Bean
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    Mr Bean – September 10, 2012 4:17 am
    These “conduits of money” that are not beholden to public law often manage to cloud their original charter or purpose when they do these apparent payoffs. This same thing happened years ago when Game & Parks Foundation gave $100,000 to Eugene Mahoney, one of their biggest fundraisers and retired director. Is it fair? They say “it was deserved.” It’s as transparent as mud too.
  4. Educator
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    Educator – September 10, 2012 12:27 am
    Yes, JP Milliken is a fine administrator and a gentleman. However, these are unprecedented times, and the Regents, President, and Chancellors don’t get it. It isn’t fair to keep taxing middle income people for their lavish perks. This is a public, land-grant university.

    And yes, the NU Foundation needs to open their books and be transparent. Mr. Foley actually did do an audit and found many concerns. But the newspapers bury these stories.

    The fact is that universities operate without scrutiny. I know of four people with amazing talent, including objective awards won, who were turned down from the program of their choice at UNL/UNO. Makes you wonder if some department heads and deans are really in the business of educating or if are they trying to keep down future competition. There’s simply no examination or sunshine into the selection process of students, particularly in competitive programs.

    As we have seen recently with Penn State and Denver University, there is absolutely no scrutiny of colleges period. And they keep raising tuition!

  5. luv2read2
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    luv2read2 – September 09, 2012 7:44 pm
    Gosh, I’d love to have some of that money to help pay my son’s $7300 tuition/room and board bill which is due next week. I’m a public school educator and make too much money for my son to qualify for any financial aid. JB Milliken made a personal decision to spend over $600,000 for his home on Sheridan Blvd. and gets a nice monthly allowance. His property taxes are over $12,000 per year. If the private, non-profit university foundation assumes ownership of his home, the city of Lincoln will lose those property taxes. I can’t believe the amount of money given to the president and chancellors of the university system for housing allowances. They are paid a substantial amount of money in the first place and have lots of perks (car allowances, Country Clubs, entertainment, travel, use of SkyBoxes/Suites, etc.) to go along the way. The UNK chancellor doesn’t even live in Kearney. His home is in Minden, Nebraska and you know darn well he doesn’t “entertain” people in his home, which is 20 miles from Kearney. There is something wrong with the system when hard working Nebraskans have to pay the price for these “perks.”
  6. Fore Right
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    Fore Right – September 09, 2012 5:32 pm
    Great and rational post, fivenineteen! Allow me to to add some fodder for folks, and to say JB is a solid president and leader for our university system. However, this is exactly the type of thing that just doesn’t make any sense and raises so many questions, especially during hard economic times.

    You must think back a few years when the Foundation physically removed itself from campus, changed it’s phone numbers from the university system, all so that it would be “untouchable” from the State Auditor and other watchdog groups. When you add up the salaries, housing allowances, expense accounts, free cars, country club memberships, free trips, tickets, vacation homes, private planes…the list really is lengthy…it really makes you wonder how any rationally minded person could even raise this type of request in a public meeting. “I know this may sound a bit greedy, but these nice folks over here have offered to buy me a second home…is that OK with you all?” Why people donate to the Foundation is beyond me, when there hard earned money is spent this way.

    If we only knew what all was out there, it would make our heads spin. It’s not a Republican thing, or Democrat thing…but it definitely is the WRONG thing. The headline I would love to read is the one that says “Nebraska Foundation donates back to the University System to offset cuts to education”, and quit making these absolutely senseless additions to the best salary and benefit packages available in the public sector.

    JB, you should be embarrased, and the Regents are clearly out of touch. Auditor Foley where are you???!!! And the the LJS, this shouldn’t be a tongue in cheek story buried, but front page, above the fold! And where is this second home? I’m guessing it’s a nice 10,000 square foot place…not even in Nebraska. “For entertainment and business purposes…” my a**.

  7. RaccoonsVote2
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    RaccoonsVote2 – September 09, 2012 4:55 pm
    I hve never understood why people that already have more then most…constantly get ‘hand-outs’?…and wasnt there a story on LJS about UNL enrollment being DOWN? maybe The Board of Regents need to enroll in some MATH classes…

    when enrollment is down + the rising cost of tuition= no d@mn FREE house!!

  8. fivenineteen
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    fivenineteen – September 09, 2012 4:52 pm
    milliken already had a beautiful house in central lincoln, more than adequate for hosting events. clearly he can afford it — probably uses the stipend to pay property taxes. the university also has gorgeous apartments downtown for hosting guests. milliken’s a personable man and has done a great job at the university, i think we can agree that the quality of academics is top rate.

    but, what this PR nightmare reminds us is that the NU foundation is completely unaccountable, hands out perks — including vehicles — to coaches, administrators, spouses, virtually everyone except educators. also, with the annual boost in tuition, do they really want to continue to lavish gifts on top administrators? it’s time the the foundation of our tax-supported public university open up the books to the public … and think twice about this decision.

  9. SteveHo
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    SteveHo – September 09, 2012 3:31 pm
    I would do his job for one-fourth of his salary, buy my own house, and probably do a better job running the university. If anyone is interested, just let me know, I’ve been looking to replace my job, lost due to the economy, for nearly two years now (thanks, Obama, for all that stimulus money that didn’t do anything for me but raise my taxes).
  10. Rational1
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    Rational1 – September 09, 2012 2:23 pm
    This is not republican logic. This is insane. Individuals at publicly funded institutions should serve the people and have modest salaries, or else get back into the private sector.
  11. davejs
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    davejs – September 09, 2012 12:57 pm
    And secretaries park off campus and walk to eork because they cannot justify parking fees on their pay.
  12. BradytheEskimo
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    BradytheEskimo – September 09, 2012 12:19 pm
    And X number of Big Ten and Y number of Big 12 schools are in states with much lower property taxes than Nebraska so let’s do that, too.

    And X number of Big Ten and Y number of Big 12 schools are in states with higher unemployment so let’s move towards that, too.

    Sheesh…….they sure are looking out for each other, ain’t they?

  13. Rightway
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    Rightway – September 09, 2012 11:11 am
    This is republican logic 101, why chastise the rich? As they provide jobs. As much as he will never actually live in the home, and only use it to entertain others.

    Not a very good argument, when you use everyone else is doing it. Remember when your mother would say, if they all jumped off a bridge would you do that too?

    If they want to buy it, let the regents pay for it with money they collect.

  14. Skeeter
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    Skeeter – September 09, 2012 10:49 am
    I’m sure with the high $$ salary he makes, he can afford to pay for his own house. Watch our taxes increase if this goes through. And lets not forget the budget cuts in the offing. Lets cut aid to hungry children and medicare for the poor, so we can buy this guy a house.
  15. notAHusker
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    notAHusker – September 09, 2012 10:07 am
    And in about a month we’ll see another article telling us tuition is going up again.
    Guess all the students will have to chip in to make sure JB has a suitable house to live in, after all we don’t want him living in squaller due to the dismal salary he makes. He’ll be getting his house right after Pelini get his yearly 18% raise.
  16. UFO 10
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    UFO 10 – September 09, 2012 9:46 am
    sounds like the catholic church,pay your own bills, his salary for one yr accounts for most people make in 5 to 10 yrs, are we accepting donations for new housing.
  17. krm
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    krm – September 09, 2012 9:39 am
    I used this “everyone has them” tactic when I wanted my first pair of Nike shoes in middle school. Who says NU has to be just like every other school? If the president and regents need a place to entertain people, how about using and supporting local businesses and hotels?

    I think that if a house is provided, then his salary definitely needs be cut. We all know this would not be a moderately-sized home.

  18. BabrahamLincoln
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    BabrahamLincoln – September 09, 2012 9:20 am
    here’s an idea…make them pay for their own housing out of the giant salaries they make…
    make it a law that EVERY job must pay for employees housing on top of their pay…
    i make just over 25K a year, and still can pay my mortgage and live just fine…
    what would lincoln be like without UNL? a question i’ve pondered for 40 years…

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