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NE: Nebraska Regents OK home for president

By   /   September 14, 2012  /   5 Comments

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: J.B. Milliken’s house on Sheridan Boulevard in Lincoln.

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted Friday to provide an official home for the president of the university system.

With no discussion, the Board of Regents voted to allow its executive committee to negotiate an agreement a housing agreement with the University of Nebraska Foundation. A donor has offered to provide a home for the university president.

President J.B. Milliken owns a home in the Country Club Neighborhood and gets $24,000 per year to defray housing expenses. Milliken bought the nearly 6,000-square-foot house on Sheridan Boulevard for $682,500 in 2004.

But the regents have talked for years about returning to the past practice of providing an official residence for the president, as was the case until a foundation-owned home was destroyed by a fire in 1996.

Regents Chairman Jim McClurg has said an official residence is needed because the president is expected to frequently entertain and host events in his home, which creates “substantial liability.”

According to data compiled for the regents, eight of the 12 Big Ten universities provide a home for the president, while Indiana University provides a $48,000 housing allowance. 

Earlier this week, Regent Tim Clare said Milliken has not pushed the housing proposal.

Neither Clare nor McClurg were sure whether Milliken would be required to move into an official residence or whether the foundation would buy Milliken’s house.

Jack Gould of Common Cause Nebraska, a government watchdog group, has opposed the move, saying if the foundation buys Milliken’s house, the property (and $12,000 property tax bill) would fall off the tax rolls.

Gould said Milliken’s contract already includes money for house cleaning, lawn care and snow removal and the money would be better spent to lower tuition or send more kids to college. He’s concerned about the increasing amount of foundation funds used to boost Nebraska administrators’ salaries and perks.

Milliken already receives a supplemental retirement allowance of $12,000 annually, a university car with gas, insurance and maintenance covered, a country club membership and $22,000 annual expense account.

The regents also voted to give Milliken a 2.3 percent raise, from his current $411,370 salary to $420,757 – nearly 22 percent of which comes from private funds.

Reported by Deena Winter, deena@nebraskawatchdog.org. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog.

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Deena Winter has been a journalist for over 20 years, writing stories for the Northwood Gleaner, Bismarck Tribune, Associated Press, Denver Post and Lincoln Journal Star before joining Watchdog.

  • http://twitter.com/GerardHarbison Gerard Harbison

    With all the pressing needs the university has, we’re buying a house for a very rich man who already has a very expensive house.

  • OmaSteak

    The whole UN system needs a complete revamp, from an ineffective oversight Board, university management and a deep review of the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars flowing into the university system. That includes all the programs being offered, faculty costs, research overhead and sports programs. With tuition over $200/credit hour it’s apparent that things are way out of control.

  • country

    Hey, President Milliken…..what ya gonna do when federal government gets serious about lowering the deficit (which you support) , and they drop a bankrupt program called ‘student loans’? It is this non market oriented government program, thats funds the outlandish tuition you charge for a degree whose market value is well below what you charge (tuition). You are a free market, capitalist correct, like your Republican brethren. You are the indirect beneficiary of crony capitalism; you suck at the same teet as the federal entitlement program beneficiaries you suggest this country cut!
    As a federal government (indirect) employee, I would put your wage on a G-13 scale with other government employees. Do you disagree>

  • Roger Yant

    As a tax payer I believe we need to curtail the money we the state gives the University from now on. This is stupid. Just because the other schools in the BIG 10 are doing it dosen’t meen we have to be stupid.

  • jazzee

    So tired of what all these government fat cats need…leave in a trailer for all I care..spoiled rotten all of them demand demand demand