The board that is supposed to make the decisions about George Washington University's real estate transactions is made up largely of people from the banking and real estate industry.
But in practice, the decisions are made by a handful of university administrators and rubber-stamped by GW's board of trustees.
Members of the Board of Trustees Committee on Financial Affairs, which is charged with general oversight of school's financial, legal, business and real estate property affairs, are: L. Stanley Crane, chairman of Southern Railway and a member of the American Security Bank Board; Lewellyn A. Jennings, a consultant to Riggs National Bank; Mortimer M. Caplin, Washington lawyer; and David M. Kennedy, former U.S. Treasury secretary and chairman of the board of Continental Illinois National Bank of Chicago.
Also, Flaxie M. Pinkett, head of a Washington real estate company; John T. Sapienza, member of American Security's board of directors; Carleton M. Stewart, director and member of the executive committee of Allied Bank International; and John W. Thompson Jr., member of the boards of directors at Riggs and National Permanent Federal Savings and Loan Association.
"The (GW) administration controls the board and the board allows itself to be controlled," said Pete Aloe, GW Student Association president. "The board is just there for show. Whatever the administration proposes gets passed. Whatever it doesn't like gets buried."
The administrators who have the most authority over university matters are Lloyd Elliott, GW president since 1965; Charles E. Diehl, vice president and treasurer; and Robert E. Dickman, assistant treasurer in charge of campus planning and construction.
Property decisions involving less than $100,000 are made by Elliott and Diehl and are not subject to review by the board of trustees.