UB 2020 Lite?
by Buck Quigley - posted 5:35 pm, April 22, 2011
After years of grandiose windbaggery from SUNYAB administrators and Western NY legislators, what’s up with today’s story in the Buffalo News, about the State University of New York at Buffalo scaling back its UB 2020 plan?
From the story: Assembly critics say tuition increases would hurt many families and have raised questions about the extent of the fiscal autonomy sought by UB that would weaken oversight established years ago during a fiscal scandal on a state campus on Long Island.
Click here to read about the “fiscal scandal” that unfolded just over a decade ago at SUNY College of Old Westbury. There, the problem was all kinds of secret deals going on behind the scenes to secure architectural and construction contracts for well-connected players…
Inspector General Roslynn R. Mauskopf, a Pataki appointee, concluded that favoritism played a role in the awarding of contracts to the architect, James Copeland, and his firm, Hudson Design, and in the bypassing of the rules. She wrote that while there were “procurement guidelines, rules and regulations designed to ensure a fair and open consultant selection process, these were ignored.”
Michael Clemente, general manager of the SUNY Construction Fund, told investigators that in 1997, one and possibly two university trustees, both Pataki appointees, called and urged him to meet with Mr. Copeland. He said he was sure Thomas F. Egan, the board chairman, had called, and thought that Randy Daniels, a trustee who was later named secretary of state in the Pataki administration, might have called as well.
The report also documents efforts by SUNY officials to steer construction contracts at the Old Westbury campus to the DeMatteis Organization after its owner, Frederick DeMatteis, a major contributor to Republican campaigns, pledged to donate $1 million to the campus over several years.
New York State Comptroller Carl McCall commented, after reading the report, said there had been “a violation of the public trust at minimum, and possible violations of procurement law.”
Now, why on earth would Assembly critics of UB 2020 ever imagine that anything remotely like that could happen here in Buffalo?