An audit of South Carolina State University, labeled incomplete by its auditor, was approved Monday afternoon by the board of trustees’ executive committee.
The vote on the audit came almost a month after it was due in the S.C. Comptroller General’s office.
Only three of the five committee members participated in Monday’s teleconference about the audit.
Dr. Walt L. Tobin, one of two people calling themselves chair of the board, called the meeting and headed the committee. Trustees Maurice Washington and Robert Waldrep also took part in the meeting. Linda Edwards-Duncan and John Corbitt, who support Patricia Lott as chairman, did not.
The audit, by the firm BDO, is incomplete because the S.C. State Advancement Foundation has not submitted up-to-date financial statements.
Tobin questioned Vice President of Finance Eric Eaton about the lack of information from the Advancement Foundation.
“Is this an anomaly with the Advancement Foundation or is this something that has been an issue over the years?” he said.
Eaton reported that he’d looked back at reports for previous years and had found none for the Advancement Foundation.
“It has probably been an issue for at least a couple of years,” he said.
On the other hand, the Educational Foundation’s reports have always been disclosed and included as a part of the university’s financial reports, Eaton said.
The Advancement Foundation is considered part of the university’s operations, according to Eaton. The up-to-date information should be there, he said.
The university has to address the foundations “currently in existence, what their mission and relationship is to the university to make sure that their operations don’t cause any matters of noncompliance,” Eaton said.
Eaton said he will be working with the university’s counsel to let the foundations know that they need to report their financial results.
Washington suggested that Tobin discuss the problem with the head of the Advancement Foundation.
Eaton reported that he needed the committee to approve and sign the audit because it was past due in the State Comptroller General’s office.
Normally, the full board has to approve the audit, but Washington said a special provision in the bylaws allows the executive committee to pass a measure between board meetings in an emergency.
According to Washington, the need to get the audit to the Comptroller General’s office put the board in an emergency situation.
The committee approved the audit by a vote of 3-0 with Tobin, Waldrep and Washington voting.
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