Scholarship Foundation Retracts Aid to Universities
March 7, 2008
by Paulina Mis
With all this talk about colleges hoarding snowballing endowments, it may come as a surprise that sometimes, college funds do dry up. Such is the case at numerous universities receiving business scholarship money from the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation.
Indiana University at Bloomington, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University at University Park, St. Edward’s University, Texas A&M University at College Station and Texas State University at San Marcos (which even has a building named after the founders) each received annual financial support from the multi-million dollar fund.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the foundation was worth $26 million in 2006. The loss was said to be caused by a stock market downturn, but there are suspicions that it may also have something to do with the founders’ son, Scott Mitte. A past article published by The Boston Globe stated that Mr. Mitte’s compensation had increased by $189,000 and his spending on travel and meetings grew by more than $180,000 in just one year. The article dated November 3, 2003 also mentions that a sexual harassment case against Mr. Mitt had cost the foundation $139,000 in legal fees.
Rather than leave their students without promised aid, most of the schools have decided to use their own funds to support them. Texas State University, the alma mater of the founders, will continue to receive scholarship money from the foundation, but other schools must dig into their own pockets to cover the expenses.