My colleague Jenna Johnson does a terrific job covering higher education, and this morning she has a fabulous story about the University of Maryland foundation building a new $7.2 million president’s mansion.
This is one of the those stories that brings out heated responses from readers.
Some will argue that the university has lost its mind: the economy stinks, people’s homes are being foreclosed on, and the university is cutting sports programs because it’s running low on cash. One reader commented: “Why do the rich want to drive a Bentley instead of a Ford? They are both transportation. And why not a Holiday Inn instead of Four Seasons? Both a roof over your head. And why a big yacht when a small skiff will get you there just the same?”
Others will argue that the new house will help the university hold events with deep-pocketed donors who can help infuse the school with more cash. Another reader comment on the story: “You need to spend money to make money. If the foundation thinks spending $7.2 million is a good investment in trying to raise additional donations then it is worth it.”
Let’s put this to a vote below. Weigh in in the comments section. And let’s see where the results stand at the end of the day.