Much has been written about the failure of leadership at VCU and the Board of Visitors (BOV) and the VCU Health Board of Directors. The conflicts of interests, the sudden departure of legal counsel, the lack of expertise in building and financing, and the failure of VCU President Rao to heed and follow advice when offered, and more, demand answers. We must demand accountability here, along with the other arising problems and additional details on both boards’ activities that continue to publicly emerge.

The Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) report was welcomed, as well as the previously commissioned Saul Ewing report, but the Board of Visitors has done nothing. 

It is personally disappointing to me, as I played a part in some of them being appointed to serve on the Board. I have had little, if any, contact with the BOV. It was recommended that Rao not only should not serve as Chairman of the Health System Board but should not even be a member. 

He has previously defended his highest state salary (upwards of a million dollars) because of his dual role. He has reportedly agreed to being removed from the Health Board.  Wouldn’t it stand to reason that his salary should be reduced? Should taxpayers not know the truth on how this is playing out?

The people are entitled to know more from those who are supposed to represent them. The students, who often work tirelessly at multiple jobs or take loans to scrape by despite continually rising tuition, deserve answers. And everyone deserves better examples to be set by a public university that is so critically intertwined with the Capitol City.

No one has yet said who got the tens of millions of dollars or why, when the taxpayers got nothing. At this point, will we get any answers?

Sadly, my advice to the people is “don’t hold your breath.”

Stay tuned.

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