Dennis Black has embarrassed and betrayed the entire student body.
Not only did he steal funds, but he also stole our faith in administrators. How could this happen? How could Black, a beloved, accessible figure who knew students on a first name basis turn around and steal from us? How are we supposed to feel about this?
We are bewildered. We are angry.
In our previous editorial about Black last October, we asked administration for answers. Now we have answers, but they’ve only brought up more questions.
Please help us. Help us understand how this went on for so long – nearly ten years – and went unrecognized. Where is the oversight? Who was supposed to be watching him? Who else isn’t being overseen? And who oversees President Tripathi?
UB has taken some measures to prevent something like this from happening again in the future. They’ve adapted new auditing policies, appointed a director of auditing and introduced new risk management policies. These are all steps in the right direction. And the next step is being open with students and the UB community.
We want more straightforward information about finances at UB. What is being done with the $320,000 that Black is paying back to UB? How is UB spending it? Is it going to TA stipends? Scholarship money?
We feel hurt and cheated. Just this past spring, UB cut four sports teams. TA’s aren’t being paid living wages. And meanwhile, a top ranking UB official was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. We pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend UB; is this what our money is going to? How are we supposed to feel comfortable paying tuition at a university that steals from its students?
We are asking for as much transparency and availability from the administration as possible. We want to know more about money at UB and how it is administered. We deserve this. We are the students; UB could not exist without us. Help us regain faith in this institution.
A college education shouldn’t just include academic study; it should teach us how to be better citizens of the world, better people. Our administration should be teaching us to be leaders by demonstrating ethics and integrity. They have a responsibility to teach us by example. And not only did Black fail to give us an example of ethical conduct, but he demonstrated the exact opposite of that. He committed an egregious crime with our money.
We have placed our trust in UB to mold us into better thinkers, better learners, better people. This is your chance to show us that Black’s actions are not reflective of UB’s values. This is your chance to make this horrific offense against the UB student body up to us. Please do.