Improper oversight of money by a former top official at the University of Arkansas caused the university's advancement division to run up back-to-back multimillion-dollar shortfalls, according to a legislative audit released this week.
According to the audit, the former vice chancellor for the advancement division, Brad Choate, allowed the division to spend more than it had: $2.1 million more in the budget year that ended in summer 2011 and $4.1 million more in the budget year that ended in summer 2012.
Choate no longer works at the university. The university says that the shortfalls affected only the advancement division and that the university as a whole remained in the black. The university is now in the “best fiscal shape in its entire history," its officials said Wednesday.
“Our own review and now the legislative and UA System audits found that the division was, in effect, borrowing on anticipated revenues to pay current bills -- that’s unacceptable and it cost two employees their jobs,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart said in a statement. “But no taxpayer dollars or private funds were lost, not one penny. All expenditures were for legitimate university needs in preparation for a major capital campaign. The division unfortunately overspent its projected budget.”
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