Audit Faults Maryland-Baltimore for Questionable Payments

February 19, 2010

The University of Maryland at Baltimore made $410,000 in "questionable" payments to a senior administrator for a sabbatical he did not take and to conduct summer research, and failed to disclose the payments to a legislative budget committee, a state audit has concluded. The audit by the Maryland General Assembly's Office of Legislative Audits found that the "senior management employee" -- whom neither the audit nor the university identified -- had received $350,000 in 2007 as compensation for sabbatical leave that the employee was "eligible for, but never actually took," on top of an annual salary salary of $360,000. The audit said that the university's president, David J. Ramsay, had approved the payment even though the university's policies and those if the University System of Maryland "do not contain any provisions that allow employees to be paid for unused sabbatical leave." (Ramsay issued a statement about the audit.) The audit also found that the same employee had received a total of $60,000 from 2007 to 2009 for summer research -- compensation that was approved not by the manager's supervisor, but by a subordinate. The administrator's compensation package had not been submitted to the state's attorney general or the system's Board of Regents for review.

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