Just as he finished his last days as Chancellor of the University of Texas System, William McRaven approved a policy that will make it significantly easier for campus presidents across the state to spend extravagant sums of money on travel.
The policy, approved in early May, loosens the institutional rules on travel by allowing campus presidents and their spouses to get a business or first-class upgrade for any flight longer than 5 hours. Flights under 5 hours are also upgradable, as long as the president receives a rubber stamp from the Executive Vice Chancellor.
This policy change arrives on the heels of a scandal at UT back in February, when it was discovered that UT President Greg Fenves and his wife, Carmel, had purchased premium airfare multiple times without receiving proper approval, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of extraneous expense to the University.
Fenves reimbursed the University for these expenses at the time, despite insistence from McRaven that it was not necessary.
Now the UT System will subsidize luxurious travel for campus officials, while Fenves makes a $750,000/year salary plus benefits at taxpayers’ expense. Though the funds for the travel will not come directly from taxpayers, they will be funds that could have been used for educational purposes instead of for lavishing UT officials with unnecessary luxury.
To make matters worse, this comes after a semester of controversies at UT including a large tuition increase, a new wealth redistribution scheme, misuse of funds for social justice propaganda, and brazen corruption at the institution.
Gov. Greg Abbott has long prided himself on his fiscal responsibility. The regents he has appointed to the UT system, however, undermine him. Citizens should demand nominees that are better stewards of every dollar the UT system extracts from taxpayers, donors, and students alike.