An audit of Chicago State University by Illinois’ auditor general has found that the embattled school improperly reported nearly $52 million in federal awards.
The report, by the state’s Auditor General Frank Mautino, said the university didn’t properly prepare expenditure reports — as required by federal law — for federal awards of more than $51.7 million for two loan programs from the U.S. Department of Education.
The report said two awards from the Department of Health and Human Services related to a program for providing training and education to eligible individuals for health-care related professions were also improperly classified. The school is required to identify all federal awards received and expended, as well as the federal programs under which they’re received in its accounts.
University officials responded, saying they agreed but that the school had properly reported the loan amounts within the “footnotes” of their report, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The audit also found that 15 percent of employees weren’t eligible for accrued leave but were included on a leave schedule. The university reported absences totaling nearly $151,000, and the report said the auditor’s finding had been repeated since 2011.
In a statement, university officials said it is working to stabilize finances, but also blamed the budget impasse.
“We have made great progress in stabilizing the university’s finances even with the absence of a state budget or comparable funding as compared to prior years,” Interim President Cecil B. Lucy said in the statement. “We will continue to make improvements to ensure efficient and effective operations.”