Globetrotting Mary Sue

24 01 2012

In an editorial published in the newest issue of the Michigan Review, my colleagues and I examine University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman’s travel and expense budget. Surprise, surprise – it’s as super-sized as her salary:

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman spent $59,553 on travel and $70,593 on meals during the 2010 calendar year, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. It is inevitable for a university president to accrue substantial expenses while conducting official business. Yet Coleman’s $130,146 in spending seems all the more extravagant when it is compared to that of other university presidents.

A look at the expense reports of other in-state university presidents provides some perspective: the heads of Oakland and Wayne State Universities both spent around $20,000 during the same period, and Michigan State’s president spent a little over $15,000. President Coleman accrued more than double the amount of those three other presidents – combined.

You can read the rest of the editorial at the Michigan Review.

Coleman justifies her ceaseless globetrotting by claiming is done for the good of the University – international fundraising, you see. In her comments, she even manages to work in a jab at Snyder and his budget cuts, stating that they made such fundraising more necessary than ever before.

Coleman’s travel is an indulgence in an age of supposedly shared sacrifice. But like other members of the progressive elite, Coleman seems is quite content to crisscross the globe on someone else’s dime while problems at home languish.

We’ve seen that our heavily-credentialed ruling class is quite capable at racking up frequent flyer miles. They’ve yet to prove that their costly cosmopolitanism is a benefit to anyone other than themselves.

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