Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Swamp(scott)ed at Salem State

"Marian Court College in Swampscott to close its doors; Financial woes, enrollment cited" by Monica Disare and Laura Krantz Globe Correspondent | Globe Staff  June 16, 2015

SWAMPSCOTT — Roderick Love-Smith was so, so close. The Marian Court College senior needed just two more classes to complete his degree in criminal justice; then he planned to fulfill his dream of joining the military.

Can still do that last one, right?

But everything changed Monday night, when Love-Smith was blindsided by news that the 50-year-old Catholic college will shut its doors later this month because of financial problems.

“I’m just very frustrated,” he said Tuesday, as he returned to the seaside campus to figure out what to do next.

Love-Smith said he doesn’t have enough money to pay for many more classes than the five credits he needs to graduate. “I’m broke right now,” he said.

Love-Smith and other students on the cusp of graduating were sad as they mulled their fates and mourned that of their school, which announced its closure in an e-mail to the college community, but the college, struggling to stay afloat after several years of deficits, decided this week that its challenges were too great.

The Sisters of Mercy founded the college in 1964 as a two-year secretarial school for women. The campus includes a former mansion that served as President Calvin Coolidge’s “summer White House.”

Marian Court is now a four-year college and last month graduated its final class, of 67 students, including 41 who received the school’s first four-year degrees in business and criminal justice.

The college depends heavily on tuition, and enrollment has fluctuated. The number of students grew to 266 last year from 174 the year before, but overall has declined in the past 10 years.

Marian Court, with 61 employees, reported expenses last year that exceeded revenue by half a million dollars, the third straight year of losses. President Denise Hammon earned $173,777 last year, a low salary for a college president. Students on campus Tuesday said Marian’s closure is even more heartbreaking because the school has a close-knit community.

Oxana Gutkin, 42, an evening student and a Russian immigrant, said Marian is the only college where she felt comfortable and was able to work on her English.

Current students will be allowed to matriculate to Salem State University, according to Hammon. While she is not sure that all credits from Marian will transfer, she said that it will be “as close as possible.”

It's a good $chool from what I $aw today.

The school said it will also try to help faculty and staff find new jobs. 

Oh, yeah, them to; good thing the Mass. economy is great!

Marian Court’s situation is similar to that of a growing number of tuition-dependent small colleges across the country that struggle as fewer students apply. Some have closed, some have merged with larger schools, and many more are living hand-to-mouth.

Aren't we all, other than the privileged cla$$ and their pre$$ handmaidens?

To attract students, schools often build nicer facilities or offer steep tuition discounts, steps that also put pressure on their bottom lines and don’t always work as successful draws.

Montserrat College of Art, in Beverly, is considering merging with Salem State.

Ken Redd, director of research and policy analysis at the National Association of College and University Business Officers, said mergers will probably be more common than closures.

Higher education is becoming more of a big bu$ine$$ all the time.

“As enrollments decline you’ll see some schools lose enrollment despite their best efforts,” Redd said.

Nearby residents expressed disappointment after hearing of the college’s misfortune.

People usually do. For some reason they value such things, the studios. 

Because Marian doesn’t have dormitories, many students live in Swampscott and other neighboring towns and cities. Neighbors described the students as respectful and called the institution a part of the fabric of the area....

Well, places do become gentrified after time so look up!


I don't know what the an$wer to success is, but I hope you have your transfer papers in order:

"Salem State foundation paid Brady $170,000 for speech" by Bob Hohler Globe Staff  June 17, 2015

For 40 days and nights since his platinum image was stained by football deflation allegations, Tom Brady has maintained his silence about the controversy, with one exception — a highly publicized appearance at Salem State University the night after he was implicated by the NFL’s Wells Report.

It turns out Brady had a good reason, at least financially, to speak last month at Salem State. The university disclosed Tuesday that its nonprofit Salem State University Foundation paid the Patriots quarterback $170,000 to participate in its annual speaker series.

Hey, the rich get richer!

University spokeswoman Karen Cady said Brady’s appearance was funded by proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships. She said no public funds supported his engagement.

Salem State’s foundation provides scholarships to students, helps recruit faculty from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, enhances internships and other student experiences, and contributes to building projects, according to its website.

Brady’s agent, Don Yee, declined to comment, citing the four-time Super Bowl winner’s interest in keeping his personal business private. 

But he was right out there decrying the Wells report.

Salem State’s disclosure followed three public records requests made since last month by The Boston Globe. The school and foundation refused to comply with the first two requests, but the university responded after the third, which sought the payment amount contained in the records of school president Patricia Maguire Meservey.

Aaaaaaaah! Now I see why it led.

Meservey declined numerous requests to discuss Brady’s payment. But she issued a statement during the public records process in which she expressed support for the speaker series. The program was launched in 1982 and has hosted many distinguished figures, including former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. 

Wow, look at the list of war criminals (maybe Carter gets the charges dropped; Ford just a fool).

Numerous sports figures also have participated, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick last year. “I remain confident that over the past 33 years the series has been, and will continue to be, an important community enrichment program designed to inform, engage and encourage discussion within the community,’’ Meservey said. 

Is that the kind of doubletalk you kids have to put up with these days?

Cady said the university foundation made an estimated $40,000 from ticket sales and sponsorships for Brady’s appearance. She said the funds will go toward supporting the speaker series, which helps the university fulfill its public education mission.

Hey, who can argue?

The foundation has raised about $20 million in total over the last five years and spent about $10 million to support the school, according to its federal tax filings. It maintains net assets of about $31 million.

Every ticket for the Brady event was sold, and his appearance was delayed more than 30 minutes while throngs of ticket-holders, predominantly Brady supporters, were seated. The hourlong engagement began with Brady fielding a series of questions from television reporter Jim Gray about the allegations that the Patriots used deflated footballs during the team’s AFC Championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts.


The day before Brady’s Salem State appearance, investigator Ted Wells, who was hired by the NFL, had issued a report saying it was “more probable than not” that Patriots personnel had deliberately deflated the game balls and that Brady was aware of it.

Brady deflected each question, summarizing his position by saying, “I don’t really have any reaction [to the Wells Report]. It has only been 30 hours. I’ve not had much time to digest it. When I do, I will be sure to let you know how I feel about it. And everybody else.”

Brady has yet to elaborate, as he awaits a hearing next Tuesday before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at which the quarterback will appeal his four-game suspension.

What did he do, lie us into a war that cost the lives of millions and has wreaked havoc across a hemisphere?

Brady told Salem State officials he helicoptered to his appearance because of concerns about navigating traffic from Foxborough to the North Shore during the evening rush hour.


Two weeks earlier, he cited a family priority rather than travel with the Patriots to the White House to be honored by President Obama.

Always, of course. That's why I have to break off early every day now. I try to pick what I see the Globe featuring as the top stories of the day, and then work on preparing more wonderful posts for readers later.

The weekend before the Wells Report was released, Brady chartered a private jet to travel to the Kentucky Derby and then to the championship boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

Sort of a global warming staines on the planet, but hey, it's Tom Brady! It's Tom Brady! All is excu$ed!

Brady’s estimated salary for the 2015-16 season is $7 million. He also receives millions for sponsoring consumer products.

So? Here is some more money for the greatest quarterback that ever lived, who led his team to victory in four Super Bowls.

Brady’s speaking fee appears to have risen sharply since he won his fourth Super Bowl in January.

He's ca$hing in?

As a three-time champion, he previously requested $75,000-$100,000 per speaking appearance, according to the website of Direct Sportslink, a sports celebrity booking agency.

The Patriots quarterback is not alone in commanding large fees for college speaking appearances.

That makes it okay. After all, everyone played with the footballs (from what I've heard socially) and now there is some sort of cheating in baseball

I mean, what's next, government and propaganda pre$$ lying us into wars? That'll be it, I'll tell ya'!

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, a one-time Super Bowl champion who has long ranked with Brady among the most marketable NFL players, last year received $105,000 to appear at Oklahoma State University’s speaker series, according to the Tulsa World.

Tuition for Massachusetts residents who attend Salem State full time next year will be $9,246, plus housing and meal plans ranging from about $7,800 to $10,850.

Yeah, what's yer point?

Several other public universities in Massachusetts were criticized earlier this month when the Globe reported they had paid $25,000 to $35,000 to celebrity commencement speakers. In addition, Westfield State and its former president Evan Dobelle have come under fire since a 2013 Globe series revealed Dobelle had extravagantly spent school funds, including more than $500,000 on two versions of a speaker series.

I'm sure I recently linked those articles somewhere in my notebook, but I'll be damned if I'm going to go look for them.

Suffolk University spokesman John Nucci reflected the view of many who oppose colleges paying for celebrity speakers when he told the Globe earlier this month, “It’s not a prudent use of university resources that are better spent on students.”


Why is the Globe lynching Tom Brady right now (lead feature)? Is it to get the attention off the Sawx?


"College’s payment to Brady puts focus on foundations" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  June 17, 2015

The disclosure that Salem State University tapped its foundation to pay Tom Brady $170,000 to speak at the North Shore school has cast a spotlight on college foundations, raising questions about whether they receive adequate oversight.

All of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities — including community colleges and the University of Massachusetts — have foundations, which raise and oversee money from private donors. Colleges have come to rely more on the foundations as state support dwindles.

WTF? Economy is supposed to be great, endowments are growing, yet state doesn't have money?

The foundations, nonprofits associated with the colleges, pay for faculty endowed chairs, research, student activities, and scholarships. They also fund high-profile events, like Brady’s talk last month, that administrators say attract needed exposure to their campuses.

Payment amounts vary. For its annual speaker series, Middlesex Community College’s foundation pays guests anywhere between $15,000 and $125,000, the college said. Speakers have included William Shatner, Robert Redford, and Laura Bush, but the school would not say who got the top dollar. 

Think of it as a $peaker's $eries. I'm glad the lefty Redford and Captain Kirk (crying sob) are $cooping up more dough. 

In case you haven't noticed, I've done a 180 and am for shoveling wealth upward. I think we should shove it every greedy orifice they own. They want it, give it to 'em!

Some critics say the foundations spend too much on luxuries and not enough on needy students. Salem State’s $31 million foundation last year paid $300,000 in scholarships, less than twice what it paid Brady.

“It’s just outrageous what they spend the money on,’’ said Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute who published a 2010 investigation about university foundations in Inside Higher Education.

It's our $y$tem, so $hut up!!

Eisenberg said more money raised should help needy students, not already wealthy speakers.

“Brady, at least, didn’t insist they rename Salem State the Brady State University,” he said.

Thank God for the little things.

Because the groups are not subject to public records laws, some specialists warn that conditions are ripe for abuses, like when former Westfield State president Evan Dobelle racked up tens of thousands of dollars in questionable expenses on the foundation’s credit card. 

I trust the ruling cla$$ with the money, don't you?

There are more than 1,500 private foundations associated with public colleges and universities across the country, 25 of which hold endowments of at least $1 billion each, according to Eisenberg.

Nationally, scandals involving college foundation money are not uncommon. 

That's the $ad part. The greed has soaked into education, an institution that you would think would be the last defense and put the light to this stuff.

College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., charged $162,000 in alcohol in the past four years to a foundation fund intended for student scholarships, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.

Where did they hold their party?

The president of Florida State College at Jacksonville charged more than $187,000 to the college and its foundation over two years, including a $1,260 per month Cadillac lease. President Steven Wallace also directed the foundation to make donations to local charities in his name, according to an investigation by the Florida Times-Union.

“Unless these transactions are made public, there’s a great vulnerability to abuse,” said Greg Sullivan, research director at the Pioneer Institute in Boston.

Sullivan rejected the idea that foundations are totally separate from the public schools and therefore deserve privacy. The foundations, and other shadowy quasipublic agencies and trusts, should all make their finances public, he said.

Yeah, what's with that?

“If they had to disclose that they paid $170,000 to Tom Brady or any speaker, they probably would think twice about it,” Sullivan said.

State Representative Tom Sannicandro, cochairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, Wednesday was not as alarmed by the revelation about Brady.

“The fiscal concern is certainly warranted, but there were no public funds used, and that’s what I’m concerned about,” Sannicandro, an Ashland Democrat, said in a statement.

The University of Massachusetts Foundation manages the five-college system’s $770 million endowment. The foundation, which has its own staff, also provides technical assistance to fund-raising departments to the campuses and the president.

The foundation funds events that help with fund-raising, including the university’s annual activities in Florida, which includes a Red Sox spring training game for alumni, according to a UMass spokesman.

“The vast majority of the money is spent on things like scholarships and research. That’s why donors are giving, right?” said Ray Howell, spokesman for the UMass Foundation.

You can see what they paid a $peaker even as tuition is going up:

UMass students will face a rise in fees
UMass poised to raise fees by 5 to 8 percent
UMass trustees vote to hike fees by up to 5%

I'm $ure it's all for a worthy cause so take it easy.

Salem State officials on Tuesday defended their speaker series as a prominent event that draws crowds to campus. Brady’s pay came from ticket sales and sponsorship for the series, not out of the pockets of needy students, they said.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring thought leaders to the North Shore,” said Tom Torello, vice president for marketing and communications at Salem State.

Most of the money managed by the foundation is subject to restrictions imposed by donors, who designate their money for certain purposes, like faculty research or academic programs, Torello said.

“The money from the series comes from people participating in the series,” he said.

Previous speakers at the Salem State’s well-known series, founded in 1982, include Maya Angelou, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Kissinger, and Rudy Giuliani. The college Wednesday would not say how much those people were paid, but said the amount in recent years has ranged, depending on the speaker, from $30,000 to $170,000, the amount Brady received.

Nice ca$t of characters, 'eh?

The school paid Brady’s fee — and made a $40,000 profit — through sponsorships and the sale of tickets, which cost between $10 and $100, Torello said.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot that, and anything that makes profit is obviou$ly $acred and good.

Fees at Salem State are set to rise next year by about $500 per student, to bring tuition and fees to an annual cost of around $9,000. How ironic.

Ah, increasing your loan liability should really be no big deal.

Half of Salem State students receive financial aid and one-third receive Pell grants, federal assistance for the neediest students. Sixty percent of students take out federal student loans, according to US government data.