ECC audit aftershocks

Last week’s release of a devastating audit of Erie Community College by the Office of the State Comptroller highlighted poor management at the school in the areas of personnel, purchasing and governance. While the official ECC response as contained in the audit document was loaded with denials and finger-pointing, the public face that college President Jack Quinn tried to put on the issues was something like this – thanks for the constructive criticism. We are getting right on it to set it all straight. We’ll document better and let people know what we are doing.

Fine, President Quinn, but why all the new and expensive administrative positions? What about the pay raises that appear to be personal rather than professional decisions? What about all those little-documented and no-bid contracts? Why are the college Foundation and the Auxiliary Services Corporation being used for executive perks? When the college is in serious financial distress, where is the fiscal restraint? Continue reading

Sending messages by answering polls; family obligations; Iowa emails; Joe Lorigo’s jobs

One of the fascinating aspects of the 2016 presidential election cycle is to watch how polls are becoming a story unto themselves. It used to be that public polls were relatively few in number and focused on the horse races among candidates. Now polls seem to grow on trees, and colleges that you never heard of are suddenly in the news for their polls, no matter how well or poorly done they are. Polls are used for bragging rights, as criteria for deciding who gets into debates, and to determine who is politically dead or who is trending upward. Continue reading