OSHKOSH – The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh must pay $15 million to cover the debts of the university’s private foundation in connection to several high-profile building projects, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
That puts the foundation’s outstanding debt, ultimately, on the taxpayers of Wisconsin. However, the state can, and likely will, appeal the decision.
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley issued a partial summary judgment Wednesday, saying letters from two former UW-Oshkosh administrators, promising to use university money to bail out the foundation, constitute enforceable contracts and therefore must be honored.
Irrespective of what the letters said, the administrators were not legally permitted to make that commitment on behalf of the taxpayers any more than I am. It seems to me that the Foundation’s recourse is to sue the former administrators.