The University of Arkansas board of trustees’ audit committee voted Thursday afternoon to accept 2013 audits by the state and UA System that examined a multimillion dollar deficit in the Fayetteville campus’ Advancement Division.
Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Donald Pederson went before the committee in an Thursday afternoon meeting at UAMS in Little Rock. The four-person committee discussed the audits for just less than eight minutes before voting to accept them, with various measures in place to implement auditors' recommendations for preventing future problems with the university's budget.
The audits concluded that the Advancement Division’s former vice chancellor and budget officer failed to properly budget and account for the division’s spending over several years. That culminated in the division accumulating a deficit of more than $4 million by the end of fiscal 2012 and budget obligations of $2 million annually that the division has no revenue to support.
The audits were also critical of UA’s budgeting process and accounting controls.
In December, a Washington County prosecutor released a report that his staff found no evidence of criminal activity as a result of the overspending.
Pederson said the university had installed five of 16 total recommendations from the auditing committee in November. As of Jan. 23, he said, the school had had put a sixth in place. Pederson added that four more of the recommendations are planned to go in at some point, though they “just takes time to put in place.”
Pederson added that university is trying to “figure out how to proceed” with implementing the remaining six recommendations, but it intends to have all 16 implemented by the system’s June 30 deadline.
The measures will be put in place for the entire University of Arkansas System, board Vice Secretary Ben Hyneman said.