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Online searchable "checkbook" proposed for state universities


A state House Republican says citizens should be able to see every expense for state universities.  

Representative Tom McMillin proposes a constitutional amendment that would require universities to list all their expenses. The items would be kept in an online searchable database.

Universities aren't lining up to support the idea.

Mike Boulus is head of the President's Council, a group that represents state universities in Michigan.

He says universities are in favor of transparency.

But he says a constitutional amendment goes too far, because it locks in a system that may be unnecessary in the future.

Boulus says there is already a lot of information about spending on university websites, and a better idea is to make it more accessible.

"To give this greater public visibility, and consistency..... an icon badge would be on the home page of each university, and up would pop all these reporting requirements."

Boulus says the searchable databases proposed by McMillin could be expensive, and it might be better to spend that money on students.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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