Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

American University Trustees Oust President amid Spending Scandal

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

American University Trustees Oust President amid Spending Scandal

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

American University trustees announced that Dr. Benjamin Ladner will not return as president of the institution after a months-long investigation into his spending (see Diverse, Oct. 20, 2005).

The university's board of trustees made the decision after a closed-door October meeting that lasted more than eight hours.

The university will continue to seek $125,000 in reimbursement from Ladner for questionable expenses and report to the Internal Revenue Service $398,000 in taxable income on top of Ladner's $633,000 annual salary, says the board's acting chairman, Thomas A. Gottschalk. The board did not address a severance package.

Ladner's attorneys say the spending was appropriate under his contract and the conclusions of the auditors are distorted and unfair.

Auditors had questioned spending by Ladner that included French wine, expensive restaurants both here and abroad and chauffeurs who ran personal errands.

Earlier, students and faculty members at the 11,000-student private school in Northwest Washington rallied on the main quad and outside the boardroom.

"Our community needs an immediate resolution," says Dr. Abdul Aziz Said, a longtime professor and director of the university's Center for Global Peace. …

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