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

7 months 2 weeks 1 day 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
COLUMBIA - The Center Project, mid-Missouri's LGBTQ community center, will provide free health care and behavioral health services Saturday to... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:20:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone and Callaway County has a new circuit judge. Judge J. Hasbrouck “Brouck” Jacobs will preside over... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri high school football teams are kicking off the final week of Friday Night Fever. In our FNF... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Fight for the First documentary was shown at the Missouri theatre for donors and students Friday. The film... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from the last week of the high school football season. Final scores will be in... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis has been sentenced to six and a half years... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - #MeToo started as a tweet and turned into an international discussion on sexual harassment. Columbia resident Macy... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is attracting attention for its innovation in collegiate eSports. From having the first varsity collegiate all-woman eSports... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says the state no longer will make children in foster care pay... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:22:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
MEXICO – A former teacher pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual contact with a student. Robert Cortez,... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Namaste Health Care alerted 1,600 patients to a security breach that happened the weekend of Aug. 12-13. A... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin announced that October 20 th would be recognized every year as Buckle... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, city officials... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers from the city and community spent the day picking up litter, clearing branches and cleaning sidewalks in... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:55:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:48:59 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A jazz museum that's plagued by operating losses and bounced checks to musicians could be headed... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 12:39:06 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives of man who died at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are alleging that a fungus infected... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:55:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A 21-year-old man faces a handful of charges for allegedly stealing from a church and also stealing... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:47:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
9am 65°
10am 68°
11am 72°
12pm 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:30a
Naturally, Danny Seo
9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
8:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
9:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
9:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
College Football
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld