“It Just Isn’t Fun” Ripping People Off

Joseph Chapman, President of North Dakota State University, is resigning. “It just isn’t fun,” he told the AP. The list of things that aren’t fun includes the $22,000 he spent sending himself and his family to Barack Obama’s inauguration—money that came from NDSU’s donation-funded Development Foundation. In comparison, his counterpart over at the University of North Dakota spent $2,176 on his trip to the capital.

$22,000 versus $2,167: sure, it sounds like a big difference, like Chapman wasted a lot of money at a time when money is in short supply for public universities. But the human mind isn’t good with numbers or comparing them, so I think an overly annotated visual aid is in order:

Hmm. Certainly seems like he could have cut costs here or there.

Then there’s this:

The Board of Higher Education says it will likely ask for an audit on spending for the president’s house, which originally was estimated to cost $900,000 and be paid for with private money. The price ballooned to over $2 million, forcing foundation members to agree to cover most of the extra costs.

Not fun, indeed.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.