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Traveling man: Dr. James Young circled the globe in his waning days as UALR chancellor.

FREQUENT FLYER POINTS would be useful to anyone following the paper trail of former University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor James Young.

Documents show that as UALR's finances slithered down the drain to an announced budget deficit of $4.1 million on June 1, Young flew to faraway places like Berlin, Madrid, Santiago and British Columbia, spending thousands to attend academic conferences.

His travel schedule actually seemed to intensify after he announced March 12, 1992, that he would retire effective. He stepped down as chancellor Dec. 31, 1992.

Young's whereabouts last week were unknown. He did not respond to two messages left at his home or one left at the educational leadership department.

Here is a list of expense checks for Young's foreign travel between 1990-1992, compiled from UALR records:

* In fall 1992, Young took two UALR colleagues on a 12-day trip to Berlin to attend a conference of the Council of International Educational Exchange.

Young was accompanied on the trip by Dr. Harold Vaughn, associate vice chancellor for international and interdisciplinary programs, and Dr. Lloyd Benjamin, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Together, they charged more than $3,300 to the university.

Their airline tickets cost a combined $1,965.60, and Young cashed additional expense checks for $891.28 and $480.

* In the summer of 1991, records indicate that Young took a month-long journey to Europe -- funded in part by the taxpayers -- to attend the International Association of University Presidents meeting in Madrid, among other activities. According to UALR, Young was vice president of the organization at the time.

While he was in the area, Young also made side trips to London and Athens, charging at least $421.56 to UALR for those journeys. Records note that Young stayed in the Pembridge Court Hotel while he was in London.

The university could not explain whether Young traveled to Athens and London for business or pleasure.

Young filed an additional $1,201.01 in expenses for the Madrid trip although some of those expenses apparently were for a trip to the Coeur d' Alene resort in Idaho.

* In the summer of 1992, Young whisked away to Whistler, British Columbia, for the summer conference of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which Young served as a national board member.

Curiously, the membership consists of 370 publicly assisted state colleges and universities in the United States, Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico, but none from Canada, where the meeting was held.

Young was advanced $560 for travel-related expenses, and his air fare to the meeting cost $631.29. Young had also planned to attend the Holly Hock Wildmind Retreat in British Columbia in October 1992 but eventually cancelled the trip.

* In August 1991, Young was off to Mexico City for a meeting of the Inter-American University Council for Economic and Social Development. He received an expense check for $1,237.09.

Records also indicate that Dr. Lloyd Benjamin went along, tagging another $333 in air fare to the bill.

The organization is better known worldwide by the acronym CUIDES. Young had served as the organization's president in 1989 and continued in a leadership role until his retirement as chancellor. Benjamin says UALR served as "home" of the CUIDES organization during Young's tenure.

"It's just an opportunity to expand the education of the students," says Susanne Robertson, a spokesperson for UALR.

* In November and December of 1991, Young, Benjamin and Vaughn attended another CUIDES meeting in Santiago, Chile.

UALR paid $3,363 in air fare for the trio, and Young received additional expense checks for $720 and $651.37.

Vaughn, who was out of town and could not be reached for comment last week, served as administrative secretary and treasurer of CUIDES, Benjamin says.

* In August 1992, Young received a $280 expense check for a trip to Mexico, and he travelled again in September, attending another CUIDES event in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

His air fare for that trip was $562, and he filed additional expense checks for $320 and $125.

If these expenses seem small for a trip abroad, it is because the host institutions often foot much of the bill for these academic conferences, including food and rooms.

* Also during the world tour of 1992, Young stopped off in September to visit Mexico City universities. His hotel expenses were paid by the conference, and he collected expense checks of $400 and $170.

* In February 1992, Young visited Guadalajara, Mexico, where UALR has a "sister" institution, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. At a 1989 CUIDES meeting, administrations of the two schools had negotiated an agreement allowing their students to gain international education experience.

Records indicate that Young filed only $200 in expenses for the trip.

In addition to Young's foreign travel, one eye-catching domestic trip was logged in the university records.

UALR paid $891.45 for Young, an amateur photographer whose works have been exhibited on campus, to attend a weeklong documentary photography workshop last summer in Santa Fe, N.M.

Robertson says Young had been scheduled to teach a photography class this fall at UALR called "advanced problem design." The course has been cancelled, however, and Young is now scheduled to teach master's and doctoral courses in education. He did not pay back the university for the conference expenses.

During the three-year period, Young also made several trips to Washington, D.C., and on several occasions made academic visits to Buffalo, N.Y., where he lived and worked for many years.
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Title Annotation:University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Author:Haman, John
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Aug 2, 1993
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