COLUMBUS — Students wrestling with huge student loans and parents who are worried about paying for their children’s college tuition are forming a new group intended to convince Ohio leaders to use Ohio’s limited resources to make college more affordable.
“When Ohio State takes $50 million that could have been used to help students and sends it to help the governor’s cronies, Ohio’s priorities need to be changed,’’ said Tiffney Wolf, a Columbus resident who graduated from law school with $100,000 in student loans and already worries about paying tuition for her 4-year-old daughter.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, OSU agreed to invest $50 million in Drive Capital, an untested venture capital firm founded by Mark Kvamme, a Silicon Valley tycoon tapped by Gov. John Kasich to improve Ohio’s economy. During his time as jobs czar, Kvamme faced criticism for steering incentives to political donors or to companies that failed to deliver the promised jobs.
And despite signing a pledge to NOT use his state position to personally enrich himself, Kvamme relied on help from former OSU President Gordon Gee to get the venture capital firm off the ground, Wolf said. Kvamme has made millions in fees off the new fund, according to ProgressOhio.
“OSU’s endowment is supposed to be used to help students and faculty,” Wolf said. “Instead, OSU spent $50 million on a risky fund. Meanwhile, tuition keeps rising.”
Wolf called on OSU to do the following:
- Pledge to use its endowment to help drive down tuition costs;
- Confirm or deny reports that Les Wexner and members of the Wolfe Family are investors in Drive Capital;
- Release un-redacted records that show the details of concerns about Drive raised by OSU investment experts.
Wolf said she hopes to use social media to get others to join in her effort and is asking other interested parties to join her Tuesday at a statehouse rally by the Ohio Higher Education Coalition (OHEC). It takes place at 11 on the West Plaza of the Ohio Statehouse.
Contact Tiffney Wolf, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: 1:16PM- A few photos