There are rumors stinking up New Jersey that Stevens Institute of Technology has a crook for a president.
Charges are swirling over Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The state attorney general has sued the institute and its president, Harold J. Raveché, accusing him of plundering the endowment and receiving $1.8 million in illegal low-interest loans for vacation homes, with half of them later forgiven.
The institute’s trustees tripled Dr. Raveché’s salary over a decade, to $1.1 million last year, higher than presidential salaries at Harvard, M.I.T. and Princeton, and, the lawsuit says, Stevens used multiple sets of books to hide its deteriorating financial condition.
“We found extensive misconduct going back years, a pattern of misinformation to the board and misuse of the endowment,” the attorney general, Anne Milgram, said in an interview this month. “Stevens Institute needs real reform.”
The Stevens Board of Trustees — most of them were allegedly close to Raveché before their appointment to the board — sharply responded to the charges of the New Jersey attorney general:
The Board of Trustees of Stevens Institute of Technology yesterday filed legal action in the Superior Court of New Jersey to enjoin New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram from imposing unreasonable and unwarranted demands on the Board with respect to the independence and governance of the Institute.
The Board did not take this action lightly. After lengthy discussions with the Institute’s attorneys, the Board came to the unanimous conclusion that the Attorney General had substantially overstepped her authority demanding that her judgment be substituted for that of the men and women of the Board.
The Board concluded that the Attorney General’s demands had to be vigorously contested to protect the best interests of the Institute.
It was the Board’s unanimous belief that to allow the Attorney General to unilaterally impose herself on matters concerning the future of the Institute, and to allow her to substitute her judgment for that of the members of the Board, would be a clear violation of the fiduciary, moral, ethical and legal obligations that the trustees have to the Institute, its students, faculty, staff and alumni.
The statement we would’ve preferred from the Stevens Board would have been a simple sentence like this:
We openly welcome any investigation into the business and purpose of Stevens and we will fully cooperate with the attorney general.
Stevens is in the Top 50 of the most expensive schools. Students presently expect to pay around $50,000.00USD a year for tuition and room and board.
The students and faculty at Stevens deserve honest and open leadership from the school they attend and serve and we hope the Board and Raveché will do the right moral thing and immediately resign their positions before any further damage is inflicted upon the facade of the jewel of Hoboken.