Topeka The Kansas Board of Regents unanimously voted today to order an audit of Margin of Excellence spending at Kansas University and the five other state universities.
The audit, proposed by Regent Jack Sampson, Hutchinson, is in direct response to a review of Margin spending that a legislative committee authorized last week.
Both surveys will examine how $27.3 million in Margin funds was spent in two previous fiscal years on salaries for faculty and administrators and on mission-related programs.
"I am very insistent on us running a parallel audit," Sampson said. "It's not a bad audit to make. Part of our stewardship responsibility is to know where the money goes."
The state's audit will compile general information about all universities with detailed material on Wichita State and Kansas State universities. The regents study will examine all six schools with the same intensity.
Ray Hauke, regents budget director, said part of the motivation for the state's audit is concern among legislators that administrators' pay raises were excessive in comparison to raises awarded teaching faculty.
Donald Slawson, a regent from Wichita, said he would be "terribly disappointed if I find out" Margin funds were misappropriated by state university officials.
Keith Nitcher, director of business and fiscal affairs at KU, said in an interview that he didn't know how difficult it would be to comply with the regents' request.
"We don't have any idea," Nitcher said. "We don't know what they're going to ask us."
Stanley Koplik, regents executive director, said if the state audit uncovers "disturbing elements" the regents' audit may exaggerate the impact of the state's findings.