The union representing professors at Rutgers is suing the university over a $100 million transfer to the athletics department. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
The union is not suing to stop the transfer — that’s already been done. Rather, the union wants the university to disclose details and documents related its financial support of the Scarlet Knights’ athletics department. The union says the school has not responded to open records requests.
“The amounts are just staggering,” said Rutgers associate professor and chair of the union’s budget committee Andrew Goldstone. “We’ve known for years about the subsidy to athletics that comes out of student fees and general appropriations from the university. That makes less and less sense in the era of COVID, when the athletics program will have an even harder time getting to the break-even point.
“But then there’s this loan book, which they call ‘internal debt,’ that ballooned from $45.4 million to $121.5 million in a single year. And the university refuses to release any information about it: where the money came from, whether there’s an interest rate, when it will be repaid, if it will ever be repaid, and, above all, what on earth they’re spending $76 million on.”
Why so glum, chum?
The university has laid off 20 percent of its adjunct faculty, applied furloughs to some remaining faculty and has declared a fiscal emergency in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Yeah, that would do it.