UH professor’s high-flying expenses include $500 pens, luxury rental cars, thousands of dollars for booze

Audi

The Cadillac tastes of a University of Houston professor are fine when he’s spending his $198,954 salary on his own. But a KHOU report uncovers physics professor Arthur Weglein’s fancy tastes even when the money he spends is the public’s.

Think $500 pens, and nightly rates of $535 at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, and $567 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

He even rents Land Rovers and Audis when he has business in San Francisco, a city where a car is a liability.

Perhaps the most stunning part of the story is his utter lack of regard for the perceived overspending.

“I do things that are appropriate and serve this university,” Weglein said. Weglein told the news station that he needed the luxury cars to “navigate the steep hills.” Flying first class? Weglein has a doctor’s note saying “he suffers from back pain.”

In an interview with KHOU, Weglein clams up when it comes to his alcohol bills, $17,000 worth, funded by the Cullen Foundation, according to the report.

In fact, Weglein claims that most of the money he spends comes from the private sector, donations to Weglein’s research program at the university.

But if that’s the case, why is it that the pens - $8,000 worth of the finest MontBlanc over the past few years – have prompted an “ongoing investigation,” according to UH Provost John Antel.

Antel also said the days of the $500+ hotel stays are over for Weglein. Thanks to this report, there will be someone watching to make sure.

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Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of an Audi by flickr user FotoSleuth, used via a Creative Commons license.