Donor to Baltimore police surveillance program says privacy debate 'healthy'

Wright State University

Some colleges say hosting a debate is worth the $5M cost

Democracy doesn't come cheap. Between the logistics of accommodating an estimated 2,500 news reporters and arranging security for VIPs, the cost of hosting a presidential debate now tops $5 million.

But that price tag has not deterred New York's Hofstra University. The Long Island school is hosting a presidential debate for the third consecutive election cycle after stepping in for Ohio's Wright State University, which backed out last month amid concerns about security costs.

Hofstra officials say that the debates may be expensive, but that they bring prestige and create a unique experience for students that make it well worth the cost. Some college marketing experts...