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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Children of Central Arkansas trustees get tuition breaks

FOI at work!

As a result of an FOI request, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette learned that five current or former trustees of the University of Central Arkansas received tuition discounts for their children. This could present a conflict of interest, and officials are asking that this practice as least be made transparent and put in writing.

The children of trustees of the University of Central Arkansas have received up to 80-percent discounts on their tuition and fees, the Associated Press reports. Although the tuition breaks appear to be legal, according to a lawyer cited by the AP, trustees do not typically benefit from their board positions.

The discounts could be perceived as gifts, said Jim Purcell, the Arkansas higher-education director, according to the AP. They could also present a conflict of interest for trustees, who set policy for the institutions they serve.

In response to Freedom of Information Act requests from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which first reported the discounts, the university named five current or former trustees who received discounts for their children’s tuition and fees.

More here.

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