State Audit Committee Questions University Of Arkansas Officials About Finances

Sep 13, 2013

Officials with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville are assuring state lawmakers that changes have been implemented to address monetary concerns. 

State lawmakers question U.A. Fayetteville officials, during a Legislative Joint Auditing Committee meeting.
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Chancellor David Gearhart says his campus is in sound financial shape, despite a state audit that cited the school's fundraising division for poor management that led to deficits. 

“I accept full responsibility for any and everything that happens at my campus. While I am confident I understand the basic causes as to why it happened, it is indeed my responsibility to alleviate the cause and to fix the problem,” said Gearhart. 

Gearhart made that statement Friday before the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee. He and other school officials answered lawmakers’ questions concerning problems uncovered in an audit released this week that showed the university’s Advancement Division ended the 2012 fiscal year with a $4.19 million deficit. 

At the same hearing, John Diamond, the outgoing chief spokesman for the state’s flagship university, accused Chancellor Gearhart of ordering the destruction of certain financial records in the fundraising unit. 

Gearhart said those allegations were false and called Diamond a disgruntled and soon-to-be-former employee.

Diamond's accusations were just another side effect of a comprehensive audit that revealed the university's fundraising division increased spending 67 percent in a four-year period without an accompanying increase in revenue.