UB Foundation Paid $5,000/month to Fight Disclosure
by Buck Quigley - posted 3:57 pm, March 18, 2013
The Albany Times Union takes a look at SUNY schools and their shadowy foundations. UB and Stony Brook lead the system in using foundation money to boost executive pay and lobby state lawmakers—to vote against a bill that would introduce sunlight to their operations, for example.
“I’m in the wrong business,” said Assembly Higher Education Committee Chairwoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, when told of the Lackman contract.
The lawmaker said she would have expected the University at Buffalo’s foundation, not Stony Brook’s, to have been doing the big lobbying, since UB came up with the public/private partnership plan that became SUNY 2020. It allowed the campuses to raise tuition by $300 per year for five years.
But the massive UB Foundation didn’t spend anything on lobbying for 2020, according to records. In 2011 it hired the lobbying firm of Meara, Avella at $5,000 a month to target a bill that would require SUNY foundations to be subject to FOIL, the state ethics commission said. The firm also represents the university. Edward Schneider, executive director of the UB foundation, could not say why he did not include the lobbying expense on a federal tax form.
Click here to read the story.