Why Does the NU Foundation Refuse to Release the Salary of New Head, Hastings?

October 31, 2012


WASHINGTON, D.C. (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

Now what is the NU Foundation hiding?

They hid the $400,000 (four hundred thousand dollar) PAYOUT to VOLUNTEER, Tonn Ostergaard on the most recent IRS Report.

Again, a classic oxymoron: A PAID volunteer. And a highly paid “volunteer” makes even more of a mockery of the word, “volunteer.”

Leave it to the NU Foundation to tout Tonn as a “volunteer” when they handed him nearly $400 hundred grand. For “advice.” For “volunteer” advice.

Seriously, the NU Foundation folks live in an alternate reality – just like Wall Streeters – where the concept of an extravangtly PAID volunteer does not cause them a moment’s pause. Not to mention – although I am – the disturbing conflict-of-interest given that Mr. Tonn – hold your horses, my Friends, is on the Board of the notorious B.I.G. known as NELNET –  determined what his own investment advice was worth and then personally rubber-stamped the deal that awarded him $372,000 (three hundred seventy two thousand) dollars.

The man sits – or sat – on every single one of the NU Foundation Committees and he ran most of them including the “Audit” Committee and the “Compensation.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up; that is, unless I had a mind like Bernie Madoff who also made off with other people’s money.

But wait, Ms. Harper, dontchaknow that regular Cornhuskers just don’t “get” how big-time Foundation fund-raisers deserve to take a cut of their financial haul. [See Terry Fairfield who continues to suck on the Foundation teat for hundreds of thousands of dollars and he hasn’t worked there in more than a decade.] They’re bringing in the money. Not the good name of the University of Nebraska and the hard-working Professors who actually teach.

They hid the correct addresses of two of their ostensible “Investment Advisers” and yes, I mean that to sound sardonic.

They hid the Cornhusker behind the new home for NU President James Milliken who seemed to be perfectly happy with his digs until sometime this August.

Let’s see…when did Mr. Brian Hastings take over as the new NU Foundation Director? Oh, that’s right. In August of 2012, you say.

Mr. Hastings hails from Ohio State, the Land Grant University who has- of all the nation’s Land Grant Act colleges – most subverted the very meaning of the visionary Land Grant Act.

Cornhuskers, you need to help me connect-the-dots in Nebraska’s Platte RiVersailles also known as the NU Foundation.

Please pass this Post on to Nebraskans who’ve been on the inside and been disgusted at the Foundation’s excess and are ready to spill the [soy] beans.

The word on the Street is that Dr. Peter Whitted remains upset about how he’s been treated in the whole NU Foundation “changing of the guard.”

He sures sounds like the good soldier in Leslie Reed’s latest Omaha World-Herald article that must have come directly from the bowels of Ak-Sar-Ben Village.

What’s a Land Grant University Reformer to do when an entire state is scared to cross the almighty NU.

Wait a minute…that last sentence sounds so much like the current requiem on Penn State.

You think that it’s healthy for citizens to be afraid of a Foundation that only gets its money because of the sacred nature of a public, flagship, FEDERAL University?

So why, my fellow Cornhuskers, is the Foundation attached to NU not a PUBLIC, “non-profit” as it should be.

For the Record, I’m registering as a Unicameral lobbyist and my hope is that Senator Ernie Chambers will introduce a ground-breaking, visionary bill to forever alter the status of the NU Foundation from “private” [profiteers] to “PUBLIC.”

That’s my 2013 goal and I’m sticking to it.

See you in the marble halls, Senators.

2 Comments on “Why Does the NU Foundation Refuse to Release the Salary of New Head, Hastings?”

  1. marco davis Says:

    Sorry for an off-topic post, Ivy, but are possibly the former bouzouki player with the hags? If so I’d like to reconnect… davis.marco *at* gmail.com


    • iharperse Says:

      Yep. The Hags were all girlfriends of the guys in Haggis, an all-male traditional Irish group. I started “The Hags” at 27 after becoming disillusioned with politics [corrupt] and Capitol Hill [like a mausoleum}. What’s funny is that “The Hags” showcased Mary-Chapin Carpenter in our band for more than a year, and just today, the New York Times acknowledges her genius. The very first group that Chapin – as she goes by – joined was a band I started, “The Hags.” Although she had a devoted and loyal following, when I discovered Chapin singing solo at a little Dupont Circle dive restaurant called, “Food for Thought,” she was only earning about $20 bucks a night in tips. “The Hags” by then were commanding $500 a night minimum at quiet, prestigious Concert Halls and festivals where there were no clanging dishes and loud patrons. I’m pretty proud of the fact that Chapin got her singing sea legs with “The Hags” because we were on the national college concert circuit when she joined us. Alas, Chapin became too big for “The Hags” and as you no doubt know, she went on to win a boatload of Grammys as a country singer/song-writer. In 1999 at a 20-year “Hags” reunion concert, Chapin had just won some huge national award but she failed to show at our “Hags” Birchmere get-together. So, when “The Hags”‘ other great singer, Grace Griffith, mentioned Chapin, I said dryly, “Whatever happened to her.” The audience roared.

      Sorry not to know, but where did you intersect with our traditional Irish quartet?


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