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Archive for Friday, April 22, 2011

KU takes steps to safeguard against another ticket scandal

April 22, 2011

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— Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on Thursday said safeguards have been established to avoid another ticket scandal.

“We do have more controls in place,” Gray-Little told a crowd of about 100 people at the Topeka Rotary Club meeting.

In response to a question from the audience, Gray-Little said KU has increased auditing and other checks on ticket sales.

“Anytime you have a program where you have a large amount of cash or tickets ... being handled by a wide variety of people, it is very difficult to keep absolute tabs on that,” she said.

Last year, the KU athletics department was rocked by the indictment of five people who prosecutors said stole and sold more than $2 million in KU football and basketball tickets. Four of the five have been sentenced, including a former Kansas Athletics director of tickets operations, Charlette Blubaugh, who was sentenced last week to 57 months in prison.

In response to another question about how important the athletics department was in driving financial support of KU, Gray-Little said that was difficult to determine.

“The athletics program helps define the university community,” she said. “It increases students’ commitment to the university and their continuing commitment as alumni.”

She also noted that the athletics department was its own corporation separate from the university.

On the issue of state funding of KU, Gray-Little said KU has had to do more with less state funding during the past couple of years because of budget cuts. That has meant increases in tuition and an increase in efforts to lure research dollars and contributions, she said.

KU is expecting flat or slightly less than flat funding from the Legislature this year, she said.

“I expect that to be the best thing we can expect for many years to come,” she said.

Comments

KU_cynic 3 years, 8 months ago

“Anytime you have a program where you have a large amount of cash or tickets ... being handled by a wide variety of people, it is very difficult to keep absolute tabs on that,” she said.

This is what Chancellor BGL said to a Rotary meeting? That just doesn't cut it.

Listen, the ticket scandal is Lew Perkins's fault, not the chancellor's. That said, this kind of evasive shoulder shrug in response to criminal activity just doesn't cut it. There are countless $30 million businesses that have no trouble keeping track of cash flows and inventory because they're professionally and ethically managed, quite opposite the case of the KUAC ticket scandal.

BGL should come right out and tell it like it is: The KU ticket scandal resulted from inattentive and unprofessional management from the top down at KUAC, including inadequate supervision, inadequate controls, and astonishingly poor judgment about people's character.

The university should demand that Lew Perkins give back his retention and severance payouts.

Phillbert 3 years, 8 months ago

You must have missed the two previous paragraphs where the talked about the increased audits and controls. Hardly a "shoulder shrug."

KU_cynic 3 years, 8 months ago

But implementing tighter controls that should have been there to begin with is inconsistent with the "Sorry, these things just happen" mentality in BGL's quote.

She should say something like, "This is a very serious problem reflecting critical organizational flaws -- which we are now working to correct so this doesn't happen again."

Phillbert 3 years, 8 months ago

She very well may have also said something like that, but all we have here is the LJW's quoting of two sentences from what I'd anticipate is a longer answer.

Reid Hollander 3 years, 8 months ago

Do you have any idea how long it has been a separate entity and paid its own bills? Likely not since you seem to insinuate that it became its own entity only after money started pouring in.

Jim Williamson 3 years, 8 months ago

You're comparing this to a marriage or a civil partnership? Really? Or is my sarcasm meter on the fritz?

If it isn't and you can't see the problem with that premise, I have neither the time, energy or inclination to try and explain it to you.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 8 months ago

How dare this reporter barge into a private event like a Rotary meeting?

thebigspoon 3 years, 8 months ago

Lots of other schools in the United States and they don't seem to have a problem keeping an eye on their ticket departments. Sounds like she is making a pretty poor excuse about it being a hard job to do...

Maracas 3 years, 8 months ago

Were there any controls in place before Perkins took over? If not, why not? Should the blame be laid solely at Perkins' feet? The same temptations that were there during Perkins' tenure would have been there prior. I'd say there are more people to blame instead of just Perkins, including past ADs.

homechanger 3 years, 8 months ago

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