Towson U. president's job under scrutiny, sources say

April 05, 2002|By Alec MacGillis | Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF

The Board of Regents will meet in a rare emergency session today to discuss whether to possibly reprimand or remove Towson University President Mark L. Perkins in light of reports of Towson's spending on its presidential mansion and inauguration, sources close to the board said.

The sources said it was too early to say whether the action will amount to a suspension or other discipline, or whether Perkins' job may be in jeopardy.

The Sun reported last month that Towson had spent $595,000 upgrading its new presidential mansion in Guilford after telling the regents last summer that the house was in excellent condition and worth its $850,000 price tag. Improvements included a $25,000 home entertainment system and an elevator that cost, with other handicapped-access measures, $79,000.

The mansion and the renovations were paid for with state funds and Towson revenues, including student fees. Leading lawmakers criticized Towson for the spending when the university system is facing a budget crunch.

Perkins defended the spending, saying that Towson needed an elegant setting to entertain fund-raisers.

At his $56,000 inauguration last month, Perkins wore a $25,000 gold medallion designed specially for the occasion. The medallion was paid for by private contributions.

Perkins, the former president of University of Wisconsin -- Green Bay, assumed the $208,000 job last summer.

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