UA Chancellor Requests Audits For Division’s $3 Million Shortfall

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The University of Arkansas chancellor has requested an independent audit into the spending of a UA division that finished last year with a $3.3 million deficit.

Two campus officials were reassigned in December following a multi-million-dollar shortfall for the University Advancement division due to improper money management.

UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart said the division had been meeting its budget by using anticipated revenue to meet current budget obligations. Miscalculations in the anticipated revenue led to a shortfall of more than $3 million for the Division of University Advancement’s $10 million budget, according to the statement.

The money was properly used for the division’s activities, but the division officials’ management of the money was “imprudent and unacceptable,” Gearhart said.

The division used money to fill staffing needs “while miscalculating the funding levels necessary to support those positions,” Gearhart said at the time.

Gearhart sent the audit requests Tuesday morning to University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt and state legislative auditor Roger A. Norman, according to a news statement released by the university Tuesday.

“As I explained previously, the university’s treasurer—a former state auditor—reviewed the advancement division’s expenditures and found no misuse or misappropriation of university funds,” Gearhart said in the statement. “However, she raised concerns regarding the job performance or lack of performance by individuals who had primary responsibility for the division’s finances.  The treasurer documented those issues and job performance concerns last fall. In making personnel decisions relating to this matter, I relied on the treasurer’s assessment of their performance.”

Gearhart said the performance assessments are not public record, and the university will not release them. The university will share the assessments with auditors.

“The university has been transparent and accountable about this situation,” Gearhart said. “I believe these audits will demonstrate that performance while still respecting the legal protections afforded public employees under Arkansas law.”