UB must offer details on Foundation funds

A key fact is missing from the discussion of University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi’s refusal to make public the details about University at Buffalo Foundation funds, as reported in The News on March 29. That fact is that UBF largely delegates decisions about spending and raising UBF funds to Tripathi.

UBF Director Ed Schneider has told the Faculty Senate and the UB student newspaper that UB, not UBF board members, decides the major policy questions and details about how UBF’s unrestricted funds are spent. UBF officials frequently explain to donors and others that UBF operates a lot like a bank – it processes the money for UB, but UB raises and spends the money according to UB’s financial plans.

As a public entity, UB has the legal authority and obligation to make public the details about how it decides to spend and raise funds under its control, even when it claims the funds are technically “processed” by UBF.

Martha McCluskey

Professor of Law, Faculty Senate

Executive Committee Member,

Faculty Senate Budget Priorities

Committee Member, UB