Archive for Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Lew Perkins contract one of questions raised in KU management audit

Auditor gives university an overall clean bill of health

September 17, 2009, 4:39 p.m. Updated September 17, 2009, 5:52 p.m.


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Read more on the management review of financial accounts of Kansas University and the relationship between the school and various affiliated corporations.

— An audit of financial dealings at Kansas University and its affiliated groups found no major problems, but did question an $18,000 per-year contract between KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins and a private company that does business with Kansas Athletics Inc.

The review determined university leaders should evaluate “for appropriateness” the contract between Perkins and Ceebrook Creative Concepts, an Overland Park advertising and marketing company.

Ceebrook is a vendor that also does business with Kansas Athletics Inc., the corporation that operates KU’s varsity athletic programs.

KU officials said the contract will be considered at the November meeting of the Kansas Athletics board of directors to determine whether it complies with KU and Kansas Athletics policies.

The audit said that Perkins stated his business relationship with the company had nothing to do with its business with Kansas Athletics. The report noted that Perkins listed the company on his state-required Statement of Substantial Interest.

Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director, said Perkins is paid $18,000 per year by Ceebrook for consultations he has with the company’s president, Jim Badzin, on issues such as leadership, strategic planning, motivation and community service.

Marchiony said Ceebrook is a vendor that bids on work supplying promotional items, such as license plate frames or calendars.

Overall, the Kansas Board of Regents members said they were pleased by the audit of KU and another one that was released Thursday on Pittsburg State University.

“Both of these institutions did very well,” Regent Chairwoman Jill Docking said after the board met in closed session to discuss the reports.

The audit, conducted by BKD, LLP, covered the final six years of Robert Hemenway’s tenure as chancellor of KU. Hemenway stepped down earlier this summer. The auditors reviewed management of all non-public accounts administered or controlled by Hemenway, and the dealings between the university and KU-affiliated groups, such as Kansas Athletics, the KU Alumni Association and KU Endowment Association. The audit included KU Medical Center, too.

“Based upon our work and interviews we conducted, the Chancellor has been successful in instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability throughout the organization,” the report stated. “BKD procedures resulted in no identification of inappropriate disbursements of unrestricted funds by the University, including KUMC, or affiliated corporations of the University and KUMC.”

The audit followed one released in June of Kansas State University, which raised numerous questions about how employees in the athletic department there were paid and detailed conflicts of interest in the operation of a business incubator.

The audits of KU, Kansas State and Pittsburg State University were ordered by the regents following the retirements of Hemenway, Jon Wefald as president of Kansas State, and Tom Bryant as Pittsburg State’s president.

But the findings of the KSU review, which was the first one completed, prompted Gov. Mark Parkinson to write the regents, calling for a broader policy of audits of regents institutions to maintain the public’s trust.

The regents complied, saying they will institute a more regular schedule of outside reviews.

The KU report was a far cry from the KSU report, which cited numerous questionable financial dealings.

Other findings in the KU report said conflict of interest policies should be reviewed and extended to a new KU-affiliated business incubator facility, called Breidenthal. KU officials said they intend to do just that. And it said the Student Union Corporation of KU Med Center should find a second person to reconcile bank statements.


kusp8 8 years, 8 months ago

All in all sounds like a pretty clean slate.

svenway_park 8 years, 8 months ago

I feel badly that the highest paid KU official at a million $ plus a year has to find a second job to make ends meet.

Alabamastreet 8 years, 8 months ago

Lew Perkins (and Self and Mangino) has done more for the Lawrence economy than the city council, Chamber and everyone else in the last 10 years combined. It's too bad our society places such emphasis on athletics over other things, but KU sports programs are the best economic development tool this city has going for it, and we all owe him a big thanks for that.

I know that won't be popular, and I'm sure someone will bring up the MU game, but facts are facts, and this city needs someone to be making something happening, and every city meeting should begin with a thank you to the big man, because he is getting it done.

If we had strategic thinkers like Lew as mayor and heading up eco devo efforts and leading the arts, we'd be better off -- flame away now on me, but it is true to its core.

There is a lot this city could learn by the example he is setting.

kujayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't lump Perkins in with Mangino and Self.

davidsmom 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree that Lew Perkins has done a lot of good for KU. I agree it's a shame that awesome results in research, etc. often don't garner the same attention and revenue as athletics (although I think the results in heart and cancer care at KUMed will eventually). But Alabamastreet is exactly right. We are also blessed to have Mark Mangino and Bill Self.

Kawatchi 8 years, 8 months ago

"It's past time to fire Lew! He's destroyed the culture and tradition of this University and stripped away the class."

WTF? Cite some examples. Perhaps the "tradition" of treating football like a cancer instead of figuring out how to make it produce millions of dollars for the university and the athletic department?

The "tradition" of people paying bargain basement prices to keep the best seats in the house at AFH?

The "tradition" of letting a basketball coach control the entire athletic department?

The "class" of bottom tier facilities?

If anything, Lew Perkins has turned KU Athletics into a first class organization that refuses to take a back seat to other schools in the Big XII. We are very lucky to have the finest Athletic Director in the nation.

Matt Warman 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure this contract is OK and Lew is on the up and up and all that, but still, everytime I read his name or see him, I hear a cash register ring.

ralphralph 8 years, 8 months ago

... consultations he has with the company’s president ... on issues such as leadership, strategic planning, motivation and community service ... For real? Not kickbacks? awc'mon!

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