This week’s highs and lows were overshadowed by the revelation that the Office of Admissions had been misleading students for decades about the extent to which a prospective student’s financial need was factored into his or her application. But here are the opinions editors’ takes on the best and worst news from GW you might have missed.
Student Association leaders are often criticized for serving as mouthpieces for student complaints without putting in the effort to come up with concrete plans and solutions. But when it comes to a major student gripe – high housing costs – SA President Julia Susuni did her homework.
At the Board of Trustees meeting last Friday, Susuni presented a study detailing how expensive it is to live in residence halls compared to various apartment complexes just blocks from campus.
“Our students are paying more and receiving less, and we believe this is a very important issue,” she said at the meeting.
This was especially important for the Board to hear, in light of the administration’s decision to extend the number of years students will have to live on campus from two to three. This mandate will bring in an estimated $2.3 million for GW each year – all of which will be coming out of students’ pockets.
It’s unlikely that GW will revoke the housing mandate. Nonetheless, it’s admirable that Susuni put in the necessary research to convince our leaders that students are getting short-changed.
News surfaced this week that a former top leader in GW’s investment office filed a lawsuit claiming that she was fired after trying to bring the University’s alleged flawed financial reporting to light.
Carol Ann Lindsey worked in the financial office for six years, and argued that investment officers inflated GW’s endowment growth in the office’s most recent report. An initial conference is scheduled at the D.C. Superior Court for Jan. 10.
This news is concerning because it isn’t the first time we’ve heard high ranking University leaders allege that they were fired after they hired lawyers to protect themselves from controversy.
Former business school dean Doug Guthrie – who was fired after spending $13 million over budget – said that “the timing is strange, as I was fired shortly after I hired a lawyer.”
We’ll see whether there’s convincing evidence that either of these allegations are based in fact. But neither one bodes well for the University’s image.