In a recent editorial ("Franchot goes too far," April 20), The Sun stated that Towson University President Maravene Loeschke's "primary responsibility is to foster the state's goal of increasing the educational attainment of its residents." It further assailed Comptroller Peter Franchot for calling for President Loeschke's resignation unless he has some evidence that she is failing that mission. The point you are missing is that Ms. Loeschke has steadfastly refused to allow any examination of athletic expenditures in a public forum of any kind, despite repeated requests. Therein lies the evidence Mr. Franchot has sought.
If she believes that her budgets are good and beneficial to the school, then she should be willing to discuss and defend them. Little wonder Mr. Franchot and others are frustrated. An objective person would guess the reason she is in stonewall mode is because there is much to hide. All anyone has to do is to walk Towson's campus to view the huge expansion of lavish new football and basketball facilities. Mr. Franchot is merely expressing the frustrations of many taxpayers who decry efforts to make T.U. a football/basketball power by spending millions and then sacrificing the likes of baseball and soccer.
A state the size of Maryland does not need two Big Ten conference members!
Compare and contrast Towson's financial management efforts with those of University of Maryland Baltimore County, where football was eschewed in favor of building an academic powerhouse. You won't see President Freeman Hrabowski spending precious resources on slick TV commercials touting himself and his institution's "educational attainment." He doesn't have to. Everyone knows that UMBC, unlike Towson, is not spending millions on football, but the school still does play baseball and soccer! Anyone can just go to a local library and look at the publications that rate institutions of higher learning and check it out for themselves.
The Board of Regents needs to do a full and impartial investigation of the spending priorities of President Loeschke and her athletic director. Just taking into account the classless way in which she notified the baseball and soccer players and coaches is just your first clue how decisions are made at that institution. Using armed guards with virtually no lead time on the notifications being given to the students-athletes and coaches! As a sportscaster on WBAL radio commented at the time, "Why, what is that all about?"
I wonder if a music professor who recently wrote a letter in her defense would still think that Ms. Loeschke is a "compassionate" administrator if she were to show him the same "courtesies" as she did the baseball and soccer coaches? I think not. The Board of Regents can and should do a whole lot better for Towson University by doing its due diligence and discarding the rubber stamp it has used in Ms. Loeschke's favor up to now.
John McGonigal, ColumbiaCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun