• Special to the Daily Leader
The Kansas Board of Regents, during a special public meeting, voted unanimously Friday to open to the public a presidential exit analysis report that was recently conducted at Kansas State University. In addition, the Board directed KSU President Kirk Schulz to take a series of actions related to the report.
The exit analysis was conducted at the Board’s request and was triggered by former KSU President Jon Wefald’s decision to retire as president. Its intended purpose was to assist with the University’s presidential transition process by reviewing Wefald’s management of certain non-state accounts that were administered or controlled by him or his direct reports. Similar reviews are currently being conducted at Pittsburg State University and the University of Kansas due to recent leadership transitions at those institutions.
Kansas open records law provides governing bodies with the discretion to determine whether its personnel-related documents should be closed or disclosed. Today the Board exercised that discretion and voted to release the report.
“Last fall, the board requested that an outside and independent accounting firm review non-state accounts that were accessible to former President Wefald,” said Regent Donna Shank of Liberal, Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. “Acting pursuant to its role as K- State’s governing body, the board made the request to assist with the presidential transition process, and to ensure that everything was in order for President Schulz.”
The analysis, which was conducted by Grant Thornton LLP between October 2008 and April 2009, and paid for by the KSU Foundation, was to confirm that accounts had been used and administered appropriately by the Wefald administration, and, to the extent that issues were identified, they could then be timely addressed. The transactions analyzed were related to certain accounts of three private non-state entities – the KSU Alumni Association, KSU Foundation and KSU Athletics. The accounts reviewed were chosen because of former President Wefald’s access to and authority over them as KSU’s President.
In addition to making the presidential exit analysis open to the public, the Board:
o Directed President Schulz to provide a status report by Oct.1 outlining his implementation of the recommendations contained in the exit analysis; and o Directed President Schulz to conduct additional reviews or audits of the activities highlighted in the Grant Thornton report, and any such additional reviews as he deems necessary, and that he provide a status report of any additional reviews to the board by Oct. 1.
“The board hopes that the opening of this document will end
speculation and rumor regarding these issues. In directing President Schulz to address the issues raised by this review and to report to the board regarding his efforts by October, the board has placed the focus on important corrective action,” Shank said. “As I said when the board initially hired President Schulz, I continue to be impressed by his experience, character and enthusiasm, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to effectively carry out this task.”