August 4, 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Faking Medical Conditions To Fly First Class?

Thirteen years ago, the University of California changed its ban on flying business or first class on the university’s dime, adding a special exception for employees with a medical need.

What followed at UCLA was an acute outbreak of medical need.

Over the past several years, six of 17 academic deans at the Westwood campus routinely have submitted doctors’ notes stating they have a medical need to fly in a class other than economy, costing the university $234,000 more than it would have for coach-class flights, expense records show. . . .

The UCLA officials added luxury and comfort to their travels while the UC system underwent one of the worst funding crises in its history. Undergraduates have seen tuition and fees increase nearly 70 percent since the 2008 school year.

Overall, Chancellor Gene Block and 17 deans who oversee the schools of business, film and theater, law, medicine and others spent about $2 million on travel and entertainment from 2008 to 2012. About half a million went to first- or business-class airfare for the six deans with medical exemptions, according to documents.

I don’t think UCLA is exceptional in this regard.

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