The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday May 20th

Frequent flyer: A breakdown of TCNJ Interim President Bernstein’s expenses

<p><em>President Bernstein’s expenses are funded by the President’s Office (Chart by Victoria Gladstone).</em></p>

President Bernstein’s expenses are funded by the President’s Office (Chart by Victoria Gladstone).

By Victoria Gladstone
Former Editor-in-Chief

Using documentation provided through an Open Public Records Act request, The Signal compiled a comprehensive list of Interim President Bernstein’s expenses — separate from his contracted salary — that are covered by the College. His total expenses for his term up to April 25, when The Signal received the most recent information, are $14,438.07.

The Signal reported last September that, according to Bernstein’s contract, the College pays for two round-trip flights to San Diego, including ground transportation.

Flights to and from California 

Since his term as interim president began last summer, Bernstein has consistently traveled to and from his permanent home in San Diego, California to visit his family while he works in New Jersey. 

The president’s office has set aside $27,000 within the budget for this fiscal year for Bernstein’s travel expenses, according to Luke Sacks, the College’s head of media relations. This is a slight decrease from last fiscal year’s budget that allotted $30,000 for travel expenses. 

President Bernstein flies to California on a consistent basis to visit his family at his permanent address (Graph by Victoria Gladstone).

Bernstein has taken at least 11 round-trip flights using American Airlines from Philadelphia International Airport to San Diego International Airport, totalling around $6,000.

Travel expenses

Along with flying across the country, there are other expenses that are associated with traveling, including car services, in-flight WiFi, E-Z Pass fees and multi-day parking. 

Bernstein often takes taxi services to commute between the airport and where he lives, whether to his home in California or to his place of residence in a College-owned home near campus. If he drives to the airport, he parks his car at the Philadelphia Parking Authority while he is away. 

Each flight Bernstein takes, he purchases in-flight Wifi, which costs $29.

Moving Costs 

When Bernstein first moved to the president’s house in Pennington, New Jersey, he purchased moving boxes from Amazon in July totalling $190.65. Those boxes were then shipped through UPS with a fee of $993.21. Additionally, there was a charge of $235.23 for the rental of a moving truck. 

Dining

The president’s office also pays for some dinners Bernstein attends, most notably in the Ewing and Princeton areas, for College business. 

Some of the restaurant receipts have handwritten names labeled on them, which may be the person whom Bernstein shared a meal with. The people mentioned include the names of many leading figures of the College, past and present, such as:

“Gitenstein” and “K Foster”: R. Barbara Gitenstein and Kathryn Foster, two former presidents of the College
“S. Stallings”: Sean Stallings, vice president of student affairs
“T. Tibbetts”: Tammy Tibbetts, a member of the Board of Trustees 
“S. McCotter”: Suzanne McCotter, interim provost 
“J. Osborn”: Jeffrey Osbron, former provost 
“S. Blanton”: Sharon Blanton, vice president of operations

A receipt from a dinner with the last names of President Bernstein and former President Foster.

Miscellaneous Expenses

In August 2023, the interim president traveled to a workshop held by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in Boston. To attend this event, his entry fee was $825. He also took the train up to Boston, which cost $335.

The College also covered Bernstein’s $139 print and digital subscription to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Student Thoughts

Members of the campus community have questioned whether or not the College should be funding Bernstein’s travel expenses, or if he should be responsible for his trips to California.

Senior biology major Alex Fuzaylov thinks that Bernstein should be paying for his expenses if they do not benefit the College overall.

“His expenses don’t benefit the school,” said Fuzaylov. “They should cover things that benefit the school. Say for like, if he’s going to a conference that might benefit the school, then I would understand.”

Sophomore spanish and sociology Kayley Totka said that because the College is under a period of budget cuts, Bernstein’s expenses should be funded by his own account.

“Especially in light of there being so many discussions about budget cuts that affect the students and student life,” Totka said, “I think that our funds, if our funding is such a pressing matter, should be taken away from his own personal matters instead of the students.”




Comments

Most Recent Issue

Issuu Preview

Latest Cartoon

5/3/2024