I hope Patrick Wright gets a bonus from USC President Harris Pastides for his pompous letter (“Why using USC’s plane is a bargain — even when it’s mostly empty”). This is precisely the problem with the fat-cat egotists in academia: They think they are smarter than the rest of society and deserve better.
The State’s article, “As college tuition soars, USC spends millions on mostly empty private plane,” was to the point. Pastides is no different than the Richland County solicitor and not much different than Jim Holderman, except that Holderman was pompous enough to openly flaunt it while Pastides hopes nobody catches it. There is no check on spending because audits do not define misuse unless it is blatant and pocketed.
How are his traveling to out-of-town games, staying in expensive hotels and charging his expenses to the university relevant to USCs purpose, educating?
Comparing Pastides to a CEO is ludicrous. Unlike CEOs, who are judged on the revenue they generate, USC gets a significant amount of funding from state taxpayers and should be accountable for spending it wisely, not frivolously on trips to support USC sports. Stockholders can, through their board, fire the CEO if the dividends do not satisfy them. Pastides is governed by a board appointed politically, and his spending does not hurt their wallets; the poor taxpayer have no say-so about his performance.
The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.