Most would agree that “lobbying” is the intent to influence decisions of groups whether government or business. Government is supposed to be transparent, more so than the private sector because it’s the People’s tax money. Most misinterpret lobbying to be bribery. The bribery element enters a benign scene as subterfuge. We don’t know it’s there.
Most also know that HCC’s former chairman, Chris Oliver is considered the poster child for a convicted government thief. Oliver was not a lobbyist but was lobbied in a criminal manner. The ethical guys were left out. There was knowledge and suspicion, but that was ignored. At Oliver’s sentencing, a Federal Judge made HCC infamous by publicly referencing to the cesspool image of HCC. How do we execute a plan to drain the cesspool when we continue to fill it with more raw sewage? Well, let’s pay attention to funny stuff.
About a year ago the Berkley Research Group (BRG) hosted a luncheon for the Chancellor. This is how lobbying starts: contact, influence, and contract.
Last night (1/18/18), Faisal Amin of the BRG received a contract for $787,000.00 for providing: “Strategic Planning”. Most strategic plans fail because the plans are too ambiguous to execute. This plan looks like one of those failures. For example, one of the goals is to enhance student satisfaction. Well, we don’t need to spend $787,000 to know that student satisfaction will increase by lowering fees, having better organized class schedules, and a greater focus and response to documented student dissatisfaction.
Should the Chancellor have filed a Conflict of Interest Certification to let the board know they are on a committee together at GHP? What can be done? Continue to investigate. We should keep our eyes on this budding relationship, which looks funny.