Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

John B. Simpson: Take the Money and Run

Just in time for Back to School, has posted the 2009 tax forms (filed in 2010) for UB Foundation Activities, Inc. Click here to see a PDF of the form.

It was a very good year for former UB President John Barclay Simpson. Combining his New York State salary with his various compensations from various private foundations at UB, Simpson received a 61% raise from the year before, a figure that included a $225,560 bonus—and that during a year in which UB 2020 legislation completely flopped. That made for a total of $867,009 from private, UB affiliate organizations where he claimed to work 40 hours a week, and his state salary, for which he was also supposed to be working full-time. Add in other perks like the presidential house on LeBrun, and his total compensation may have been over $1 million.

That’s got to be irking current UB President Satish Tripathi, who must’ve thought he was getting paid pretty well by the state, the SUNY Research Foundation, and the UB Foundation. Nope. Not even close to what Simpson was raking in, secretly.

And all the while, Tripathi was getting dragged through the mud for his outlandish salary—from columnists and UB Management students alike.

Others pulling in the big bucks on the 2009 form include Scott Nostaja and David Dunn—both of whom have since joined Simpson in getting while the getting’s good. That makes three of the top six highest-paid foundation employees that have gotten the hell out of Dodge since all the secret salary top-ups came to light.

Apparently, that’s how the game works.





  • Jim Holstun, UB Professor

    Because the UB Foundation remains so secretive, the safest assumption is that this sort of corruption continues. It remains to be seen whether or not the UB Faculty Senate will begin taking back the university from the administrative bureaucrats, or whether the faculty will continue to be bought off with little slivers of pork and scared off with threats and examples of retribution.

    This sort of porkery is national as well as local. Professor Benjamin Ginsberg of Johns Hopkins University has written a book titled THE FALL OF THE FACULTY: THE RISE OF THE ALL-ADMINISTRATIVE UNIVERSITY, AND WHY IT MATTERS. In it, he traces the astonishing bloat in bureaucratic administration at universities, which is crowding out professors and jacking up tuitions. For a good interview with Ginsberg, see

    In the meantime, the only decent thing for former President Simpson to do would be for him to return the $225,560 bonus he gave himself, which could provide nice scholarships for a thousand UB students. But don’t hold your breath. Simpson came to Western New York for seven years, gassed up the local atmosphere with flim-flam plans, hob-nobbed with witless local magnates, raided the UB till, and skedaddled back to California.

    In the meantime, local alums who are kind enough to contribute to UB should probably check more carefully into where their money is going. Too much of it has already gone to California.

  • Anon

    Governor Cuomo Announces Additions to Not-For-Profit Task Force 8/4/11

    Governor Cuomo today announced that Senator Carl L. Marcellino and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Governor Operations Committee, will join the Governor’s task force to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the state.

    Cuomo needs to put all of the SUNY Foundations on his list of foundations to investigate. Interesting that Assemblyman Steve Engelbright is on that committee,up until about a year ago Assemblyman Steve Engelbright was listed as a staff member at Stony Brook University.

    Steven C. Englebright
    Status -Staff
    Department -Geosciences
    Campus Address- 140 Earth and Space Sciences Bl, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100