The former president of Kentucky State University charged more than $73,000 on his university credit card to pay for flights and luxury hotels in destinations such as the Bahamas, Cancun, and Las Vegas.
Christopher Brown II continued his profligate spending even as school debt mounted, according to the Courier Journal. KSU Chief Financial Officer Greg Rush previously disclosed to state legislators that the university is headed for a $15.7 million shortfall this fiscal year.
Legally obtained credit card statements showed that Brown used his KSU-issued credit card on 67 flights, 72 hotels, and 22 rental cars. Other payments went towards Uber fares, taxi fares, eBay purchases, and food.
Brown told The State Journal that all of his credit card expenses were university-related. He said that before he was given a credit card, KSU had a travel office where he charged similar expenses.
The former KSU head was not surprised that a closer look at his finances was conducted, especially after the school entered a financial crisis after his resignation.
“Although narrow in focus and absent important contexts, the focus on the office of the president is often a convenient step. It is often said that the tallest trees catch the most wind. As the campus seeks to continue efforts toward effective outcomes and operations, it is important to seek clarity on any obstacles to best practices,” Brown stated.
Brown’s Credit Card Spending
When Brown was still employed at KSU, he said that the finance division lacked sufficient staffing, which required various departments to use credit cards for regular processes instead of going to purchasing offices.
However, before the global pandemic restricted travel, Brown was racking up travel expenses of $5,641 per month, averaging more than six hotel stays and six roundtrip flights.
The Council on Postsecondary Education, headed by former KSU interim president Aaron Thompson, revealed that it is conducting a full review of the university due to its financial problems.