$80 Million in Misspending at U. Central Florida Results in Firing and Resignations
“Records show the project was funded with state money that was never earmarked for construction”
The school was spending a fortune on construction with money that wasn’t intended for that.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:
Florida university misspent $80M, president emeritus resigns, 4 top officials fired
University of Central Florida President Emeritus John Hitt has resigned, and four high-ranking university administrators have been fired over a scandal involving millions of dollars in building projects.
In 2018, the university was building new buildings with more than $80 million that was meant for other work.
During a meeting Friday, board members got their first look at an outside investigation into the misspending.
The report said Hitt likely did not know these building projects were being improperly paid for.
The same goes for the board of trustees, but the report said plenty of other people did.
University board members spent hours Friday afternoon going over a 63-page report that is critical of how UCF handles money.
One of the lawyers involved in investigating the university made it clear the financial issues span a series of projects and a number of years.
However, they’re centered around the $38 million project to build Trevor Colbourn Hall on campus.
Records show the project was funded with state money that was never earmarked for construction and should have gone to things like curriculum for the students.
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Fired? Presumably these buildings are really being built for the benefit of faculty and staff, not the students. That looks like a personal benefit to me, just like buying a $10,000 mahogany desk even though the user of that desk doesn’t have formal ownership of it. They should be prosecuted not just fired. They probably don’t even lose pension benefits for this misspending.
A googles search of Trevor Coulborn Hall looks like its for classrooms and departments, so it sounds like the misappropriation was not far off.
It’s not like they built an athletic complex or new presidential palace out of it. The problem is likely that they were supposed to use it to update their existing spaces rather than build new buildings which lead to more costs down the road (since the new construction will cost more per student seat than renovating old buildings).