by Max Brantley
The Log Cabin Democrat has added a bit more detail to reports about the special UCA Board of Trustees fund -- taken mostly from bookstore and on-campus food sales -- that was used to make a $300,000 incentive payment to President Lu Hardin.
Trustee Rush Harding, who was Board chair when the compensation plan for Hardin was adopted, told me yesterday that the special Board fund was useful for providing financial help to worthy campus causes without prompting dissension or competition from other interests. When I asked if that meant that the Board had viewed expenditures from that fund as not subject to public disclosure, he responded: "That won't be the case in the future."
The Log Cabin reveals that there is a proviso by which the Board chairman can spend up to $5,000 from the fund without approval of the rest of the Board.
A special slush fund, expenditures kept secret, from which one man (update: or woman -- see comments -- as the case may be) has the ability to write checks up to $5,000.
The money was used for severance pay for former president Win Thompson and some student government expenses, officials have said. I believe a public listing of ALL expenditures from that fund -- particularly unilateral spending by Board chairs -- would be a useful gesture on UCA's road back to full accountability.
UPDATE: Trustee Harding has contributed some comments to the thread. Thanks for that. It appears the spate of publicity this week is producing positive results.