Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency fires leader for excessive spending

    Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency board-members say they’re confident cost-cutting measures will continue, despite this week’s firing of PHEAA president and CEO Michael Hershock. WHYY’s Scott Detrow reports on the foundation’s new leader.

    By: Scott Detrow

    Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency board-members say they’re confident cost-cutting measures will continue, despite this week’s firing of PHEAA president and CEO Michael Hershock. WHYY’s Scott Detrow reports on the foundation’s new leader.

    Transcript:
    James Preston is already the president and CEO of PHEAA.  He will now fill that role for the agency’s fund raising arm as well, though he won’t be paid any extra money.  Hershock earned $150,000 a year at the part-time post before being fired on Monday for racking up excessive expenditures.  State Senator Sean Logan, an Allegheny and Westmoreland county Democrat who serves as PHEAA’s vice chairman, says he’ll keep working to rein in costs at the agency.  Logan says Hershock clearly wasn’t on the same page, pointing to the CEO’s decision to stay at the Four Seasons during a fund raising trip to New York City.

    Logan: “I don’t care if he came out of that potential donor meeting with a million dollars. He still could have  saved some money by staying somewhere cheaper. Have a meeting at the Four Seasons. Have a lunch at the Four Seasons.  Have a dinner, whatever that entailed.  But to spend a thousand dollars for the stay that night?  I mean, what kind of room is it?

    Logan  says he’s confident Hershock’s firing will send a message to employees that excessive spending won’t be tolerated.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090306pheaa.mp3]

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