Barlow's argument there seems to be, "Hey! We didn't rip off Johnny Taxpayer! We just ripped off our students and faculty! So why do YOU care?" Well I for one am glad to see they care. The decision to drag The Brogan Himself before the committee came because this guy didn't give them any answers.
An angry state legislative committee wants answers to why Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan gave a former fundraiser more than $577,000 in severance pay — and they plan to ask Brogan directly.
The money to pay Davenport came from vending machine revenues, creating a $68,272 shortfall in the concessions budget for 2006-07.
"It was concession money, not tax money," said Barlow, who said that the university plans to adhere to all the recommendations made in the audit.
"The answer you're giving us is that you don't know," Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland, told Barlow. "Going round and round with a person who doesn't know isn't going to get us anywhere."
Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, was more blunt.
"I'm offended President Brogan is not here with us today," she said. "This is the people's university, it's the people's money and the people have a right to know why."
...[Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico] called Barlow's testimony "disrespectful" and questioned whether he had even read the 23-page audit.
Go state representatives!
Davenport resigned as the vice president of advancement in March. Brogan later cited differences in leadership philosophy and friction with the FAU Foundation, the university's fundraising arm, but has provided no specific documentation to the auditors or the legislative auditing committee.
"What did this guy have on the university that the president obviously thought was more difficult than to deal with what you have to deal with now and would generate more bad publicity than what you've received already?" Bucher asked.
Barlow would say only that Brogan felt it would be better to pay off Davenport and have him leave rather than going through a court battle.
"Dr. Davenport was going to pursue an option of wrongful termination which would have wound up in federal court … the president decided to avoid expensive litigation," he said, but offered no further explanation.
FAU General Counsel David Kian, reached Monday evening, said he or Brogan would be willing to meet with legislators and give a more detailed explanation. He said Davenport threatened legal action and the university thinks he may have sued based on age or racial discrimination. Davenport is black and was 62 when he left the university.
This part seems to me particularly unlikely, unless of course the real reason he had to leave was because U business was being performed at KKKlan meetings to which he was not invited. And that seems unlikely too. So what's the story? It seems like our chance to find out might be when The Brogan is interviewed.
The NEXT scandal with FAU, incidentally, should be the fact that the U was completely ripped off when it bought its new computer system: students are being prevented from matriculating and graduating; schedules don't make sense; registering for courses requires ten tons of in-person paperwork that wasn't required before; and the only one who seems to have benefited from this switch is the corporation that sold it to us.