The president of Montgomery College is under fire after a news outlet published a report questioning her use of travel funds.
The college does not regulate her trips, as long as she follows reimbursement procedures, Montgomery College spokesperson Raymond Gilmer said.
“The contract doesn’t get into how many trips she takes as much as her compensation package,” said Gilmer.
NBC News 4 reported Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard spends more money on transportation than the president of a similar sized community college in Northern Virginia, though they both are provided cars and Montgomery’s president has a lower salary.
Montgomery College spokesperson Marcus Rosano said he had nothing to say about Pollard spending money.
“I’m not talking about the president’s spending right now,” Rosano said Wednesday.
Receipts from Pollard’s corporate credit card indicate she spent tens of thousands of dollars on various trips. During more than one of her trips, she stayed in a luxury hotel.
In April of 2013, she spent $1,603 to stay at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square for seven days for the annual National Association of Community Colleges convention, according to a receipt.
During that trip, a receipt showed she paid $967 on a dinner for 15 people.
According to Pollard’s contract, the college pays transportation costs for Pollard and her wife for any trip she takes.
The Sentinel requested an interview with Pollard but she declined. “She’s reaching out to an internal audience,” Rosano said Tuesday.
Pollard spoke with a student and college staff during various closed meetings, Rosano said.
“Governance councils are internal,” Rosano said. “(They’re private) meetings.”
Pollard earns a salary of at least $281,000 a year, according to her contract.
Gilmer said the trips are necessary to raise money for the school.
“Often it’s meeting face to face, either with governmental officials or state (officials),” Gilmer said. “When you meet face to face, you can change the minds and win the hearts of future business partners or government officials or donors because she’s showing them the benefits of supporting our mission and all the students we serve.”
During the last six years, Pollard raised $75 million in grants and $23 million in scholarships from donors, according to Gilmer.