SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Top officials at Cal State University San Marcos spent thousands in tax dollars on pricey travel and personal expenses, prompting an internal investigation into their spending, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
Business and travel expense reports obtained by the newspaper indicate that Michael Schroder, dean of extended learning; Graham Oberem, former provost; and Karen Haynes, former university president, frequently took business trips that included stays at high-class hotels, expensive dinners and luxury resorts.
More than $82,000 was spent sending Schroder on 18 trips outside the county on behalf of the university, the newspaper reported.
Oberem, whom the paper identified as the “most frequent signer of Schroder’s expense reports,” booked rooms at a hotel in Spain for $639 per night and paid nearly $500 for limousine rides to and from Los Angeles International Airport.
Haynes, who retired in June, spent more than $750 a night at a Spanish hotel in 2017 and regularly billed the school for rides from the university to her home in Vista, according to the newspaper. Her salary was reported as $404,000 by Transparent California, though one source stated that around $60,000 of that amount may be housing allowance. Despite that figure, the Union-Tribune reported that Haynes and other university officials spent more than $300,000 on travel.
The spending has led to an audit by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and prompted protests from students.