President Wilson Refutes Claims of Improper Spending

By Ashley Childs

 

At the Townhall meeting President David Wilson denied the claims written about him in HBCU Digest.“I will answer that with a monosyllabic no. No it is not true. That is totally inaccurate. We have asked for a retraction and the author has yet to do that.”

In an article released September 9, HBCU Digest stated that Wilson spent over $220,000 in scholarship money on personal expenses while traveling from 2010 to 2014.

Digest reported, “A Maryland Public Information Act filed by the HBCU Digest for presidential travel records and expenditures reveals that Wilson spent a total of $218,426.65 on travel, meals, and other personal expeditions between 2010 and 2014; purchases funded by Maryland taxpayers and donors to the Morgan State University Foundation.”

The online publication released this claim in the final article of a three part series written by JL Carter Senior. The articles point out two problems of leadership at the university. First with the political agendas of the Board of Regents. Second with the Board of Regent’s decision to reappoint Dr. David Wilson as president.

This comes at a time when Morgan students are wondering where the money has gone for this years homecoming concert. While university fees have increased by $500 since 2010, this years homecoming line-up is significantly lackluster when compared to previous years. Only two artists are slated to perform at Thursday’s concert, as opposed to three in previous years. Though university fees are not solely doled out for homecoming events and entertainment, portions of the funds are set aside for those events.

The spokesperson for MSU Clinton Coleman says he is unsure of Carter’s credibility. “I question its accuracy. Based on the information I have been given, Dr. Wilson’s travel-related expenses come much closer to $110,000 over four years than the $218,000 reported in your article.” HBCU Digest created a counter response that revealed photo copies of the expense reports they acquired.

Wilson says he is a giver and has been transparent all four years. “I contribute every single pay period here at Morgan $769.73 for a total annual contribution of $20,000. I don’t take from Morgan; I give. And that piece is totally inaccurate.”

Morgan’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Executive Director of MSU’s Foundation, Cheryl Hitchcock, defended President Wilson stating he is a fundamental part of the scholarship program and the program did not fund his personal expenses. “Dr. Wilson has been an integral part of cultivating and maintaining donor confidence. He makes personal calls and visits to prospective donors, advocates to business and community, and is intimately involved with alumni activities.”

Hitchcock says that under Wilson school funding has increased. “Upon arrival at the University, President David Wilson made a strategic decision to invest in the development, or fundraising, division of the University by creating four additional front-line fundraisers, where there had been only one. As a result, the University has raised, from private sources, between $4 million and $5 million each fiscal year since FY11.”

The thirty three year old Morgan State University foundation is the entity responsible for raising, managing and distributing private donations to Morgan students. According Morgan State University Foundation’s Statement of activities and changes in net spending, in 2013 the school received nearly five million dollars of unrestricted donations. In 2012 it received more than four million in unrestricted donations.

In 2014 alone Morgan has had a number of effective scholarship programs.

President Wilson along with officials from eight HBCU’s signed a memorandum with the China Education Association for International Exchange. The MOU declared a study abroad program for HBCU students to study in China.

Through a joint program with Maryland Department of Transportation, Morgan graduate students of transportation have completed a yearlong program that has enhanced their skills for the workforce.

The Young African Leaders Initiative was in effect this pass June and July. The program allowed leaders form African countries to develop key issues facing communities around the world at Morgan. Forty-eight students and staff have received Fulbright related award.

Morgan and John Hopkins have launched an S.T.E.M. research program, allowing Morgan students to do research at Hopkins and other similar places.

Information in this article can be found here, here and here.

 

 

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