Washington Post: University of Maryland Building ‘On-Campus Mansion’ for President (@wpjenna)

In a new Washington Post report, higher education guru Jenna Johnson reveals that the University of Maryland plans to erect an “on-campus mansion” for its president totaling $7.2 million.

As Johnson confirms near the start of the piece, “[S]ome question why the school would build such an elaborate house at a time when the flagship university is asking donors to support students who might drop out because they can’t afford tuition. And construction will begin just weeks after President Wallace D. Loh announced that he will cut eight varsity sports teams in June to save an estimated $29 million over the next eight years.”

As Johnson also wrote in the main piece and a follow-up blog post, supporters contend that presidential homes of such largesse are often used as gathering points for university events and status symbols aiding a school’s reputation and bringing in donations.

Bottom line: How’s your president living these days?

Questions for a Related Report

Where does your school’s president live?  If university-owned, how much did the house cost to either buy or build?  How was it paid for?  Who made the purchasing decision?  What is the cost of upkeep?  What are the features of the house?  Any house-related perks in the president’s contract– such as free landscaping, cleaning, an extra security system, wireless Internet, etc.  How often is it used to entertain guests on behalf of the university, officially and unofficially?  What are the costs of those events, and how are they managed?

Multimedia Options

1) A photo slideshow or video tour of the house, if possible.  2) A webpage sporting click-through visuals and mini-profiles of every individual invited to the house for official functions during the past academic year, if such records exist.  3) A photo time-capsule run-through of previous presidential houses, changes to the house or compare-contrasts between your president’s house and the houses of other presidents at schools within your sports conference or city.

Offbeat Options

1) Profile the groundskeepers or landscapers who take care of the land on which the house is situated or a caterer who works the house during special events.  2) Drive by the house near Halloween, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.  Any decorations?  (Or maybe too much?) :)

One Response to “Washington Post: University of Maryland Building ‘On-Campus Mansion’ for President (@wpjenna)”
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