If you are supposed to give credit where credit is due, then Eastern should be recognized for bringing just that — credit — to students, faculty and alumni. Five years ago, the university signed a contract with First USA to get $1.5 million to sell names to the company for credit card solicitations. It was a good deal for the university. Alumni Relations got the money, which is now earning interest. The money funds alumni events and pays for most of the operating cost of the office.
While that is nice for Eastern, the university needs to take some of the credit for its actions. If it is going to sell the names of its students, faculty and alumni, which it does twice a year, then Eastern needs to step up to the plate and take some responsibility.
The university should provide credit counseling or require a class, such as Personal Money Management in the finance department, if it is going to subject its members to the solicitations.
The university controls when and where First USA can solicit its Eastern Kentucky University Student and Alumni Visa cards. Tables are set up at ball games and on campus, and everyone should have gotten the information in the mail. So, that’s good that there is some control.
But still the university shouldn’t just sell the names and forget about it, all the while counting up how much interest the $1.5 million has drawn.
The contract is up at the end of June, so Eastern will have to make a decision whether to renew or bid the names out to another company. Let the administrators know how you feel about your name, address and phone number being sold for solicitation before they make that decision.