UM System audit reveals millions spent on 'hidden bonuses' to administrators

10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Monday, March 06 2017 Mar 6, 2017 Monday, March 06, 2017 7:15:00 PM CST March 06, 2017 in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit report of the University of Missouri System Monday that revealed millions in "mismanaged" funds. 

The investigation found the UM System distributed nearly $2.3 million in hidden incentive payments to top executives and administrators, including the chancellors of the four system campuses. These incentive payments, Galloway said, were awarded without a formalized process or clear performance metrics, and most of the individual expenditures were not formally approved by the Board of Curators.

The payments were not included in administrators' published salaries, Galloway said, reducing public transparency.

The audit also revealed what Galloway said were "excessive vehicle allowances." About $407,000 in vehicle allowances were made to 18 top administrators of the UM System in 2015 and 2016.

Some of the vehicle allowances amounted to more than $1,200 per month and were intended to provide for "a leased luxury vehicle, insurance and fuel."

Galloway said mileage reimbursement, rather than the UM System's luxury vehicle allowances, would have cost the state about three times less. 

The audit also shows former MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin received nearly half a million dollars from the UM System in the year after his resignation as chancellor in November 2015. Galloway said the audit revealed Loftin was granted "developmental leave" to "spend the year traveling, with no clear objectives or deliverables required during that time."

According to the audit report, Loftin continued to receive his chancellor's salary, totaling $230,000 over a six-month period. He also received a $100,000 retention bonus; a $15,600 annual vehicle allowance; a $35,000 annual stipend and a $50,000 travel budget.

"These decisions demonstrate poor judgment and a lack of accountability in almost every aspect of the former chancellor's resignation and transition to a new position," Galloway said. "System leaders must be called on to explain how it makes sense to pay almost half a million dollars over the course of a year to an employee who was responsible for completing no actual work on behalf of the university or its students."

However, university officials said Loftin has been serving the university in the past year through his role as Director of National Security Research Development.

Christian Basi, MU spokesman, said in a statement, "Over the past year, Dr. Loftin has met with national research scientists, including those with the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Laboratory. In those meetings, he helped to identify where UM researchers could compete for upcoming projects or programs related to improving national security."

Basi said the university will evaluate Loftin's performance this spring to "assess his effectiveness and success in locating funding opportunities and partnerships for MU investigators."

John Fougere, UM System spokesperson, said a strong executive compensation program is an essential tool for recruiting and retaining top university leadership in the competitive field of higher education.

"It is very telling that on the very day when the audit did focus on our executive compensation program, the news comes that a university is hiring away one of our top leaders," Fougere said.

Wright State University announced Monday it will hire Cheryl Schrader, chancellor of Missouri S & T in Rolla, as its president. Schrader was listed in the audit as having received more than $200,000 in executive compensation payments from the UM System.

The audit comes at a time when the UM System is navigating budget shortfalls and withholds from the state legislature. Earlier this year, Gov. Eric Greitens cut nearly $40 million from the UM System in his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2018.

A release from the UM System Monday said the audit "confirmed that the UM System follows sound business practices and accounting standards in its operation of the state's largest public university, while identifying no significant deficiencies in internal controls."

But the auditor gave the UM System a "fair" rating, which means "audit results indicate this entity needs to improve operations in several areas." The auditor's rating system includes excellent, the highest ranking; good; fair and poor.

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE - The gym filled with over 100 people roared with applause and laughter. In the gym, two-year-old Finn Shikles... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:41:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was among a handful of Democrats in the Senate... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of Missourians gathered at the Boone County Courthouse Plaza Saturday to march 10 blocks with the intention... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:20:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One year ago, President Donald Trump was sworn into office, and on Saturday, supporters held a rally... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A CNN report that the FBI has opened an inquiry into Gov. Eric Greitens "would not be... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A Jefferson City woman is encouraging people to lock their car doors after she caught a thief... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 3:42:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the community met, adopted and played with cats and kittens Saturday at a Columbia pet store.... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said there was no blackmail or threatened violence in an extramarital... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police have made an arrest in a double shooting that left a 46-year-old... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 12:49:41 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - The Pettis County prosecutor has issued a warrant for the arrest of a man in connection to the... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 12:33:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Coyote sightings are becoming more frequent in the St. Louis area, and some are strolling down... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:37:36 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease in Missouri deer is up, but... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:26:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
RICHMOND, Va. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public's help with identifying a serial robber called... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 9:59:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
CHARITON COUNTY -- Alonzo Bernard Thorpe of Clark, Missouri was found guilty of eight counts of child molestation and two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:38:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final moments leading up to Friday's midnight deadline, Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:19:05 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
11am 55°
12pm 56°
1pm 57°
2pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:30a
The Champion Within
11:00a
Wild About Animals
11:30a
NHL Hockey
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program
11:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
9:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Look Who's Talking
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy