Brown University is good-hearted. So much so, that they announced today that they would donate $ 31.5 million to the city of Providence, Rhode Island. In a Wall Street Journal story today, Brown's president, Ruth Simmon, was quoted as saying that "Brown is deeply concerned about Providence's financial situation." And well they should be. Providence's finances have gone down the chute as one might expect based upon a public employee pension fund that is, at best, 70 percent underfunded.
The story in the Journal, goes on: "Providence has been negotiating with Brown and its six other largest tax-exempt nonprofits to make more voluntary payments in lieu of taxes."
So, now, when you ask: why do these Universities (and other worthy tax exempt institutions) need so much money? Part of the answer is that they are funding bankrupt cities like Providence. This is not the only absurd expenditure embarked upon by today's colleges and universities, but it is an expenditure, like a host of others, that has nothing whatsoever to do with providing anyone with a college education.