Wednesday, October 12, 2011
African-American religious leader, Floyd Flake, exploits black college
For five years, the former congressman headed one of the largest churches in the country in Queens while simultaneously running a small college in Ohio - pocketing hundreds of thousands in salary and benefits from both places. Now Wilberforce University faculty members say that he bled them dry, setting the storied black Protestant college on the road to financial ruin. “He came in and looted the place,” said Robert Fitrakis, a lawyer for the faculty who has filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The faculty is seeking to oust the current board and Flake’s handpicked successor, charging that they have breached their legal and financial duties. The faculty members claim that after Flake became president in 2002, his compensation and perks skyrocketed, he hired cronies as high-priced administrators, he failed to raise enough money and he insisted on a pricey contract with the Princeton Review, where he sat on an advisory board. In his last year at the college, 2008, Flake pulled down a total compensation package of $340,100, which included his salary of $145,833 and a retirement benefit of $149,267. He also had a $45,000 expense account. Almost all of Wilberforce’s revenue, about 90 percent, comes from taxpayer dollars, including federal financial aid and government grants. And Flake earned the outsize salary while working at the college only one day a week, said a faculty member.