Report: CSU staff spent $60,000 on food, lodging
FORT COLLINS, Colorado ” Colorado State University staffers in Fort Collins spent more than $60,000 on lodging and dining out in March as the university cuts its budget and lays off workers.
The Coloradoan reports that the purchases were made by staffers using university-issued cards to take out potential students and donors. The newspaper obtained the transactions through an open records request.
University officials justified the expenditures, saying it’s a way to woo potential donors and show interested students the city of Fort Collins.
CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander says about 60 percent of the money the university spent on food came from sources such as research grants, not taxpayer funds.
The biggest spender, according to the records, was the Athletics Department. Officials there spent about $4,000 on food in March. CSU Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk said the spending helps build relationships with potential donors.
“They don’t just show up on your door with a check,” he said. “It’s absolutely essential to let people know who you are, the purpose of your organization, the goals you hope to achieve.”
The university’s College of Engineering, which is considering laying off six employees and cut $700,000 from its budget, spent $1,500 during a two-day period in March on two meals for 32 prospective graduate students and six student volunteers.
“We’ve asked people to use good common sense,” said Tony Frank, the president of the university’s Fort Collins Campus. “In general, people have been reasonable about those things.”