LAMAR UNIVERSITY Faculty member presses for audit
An assistant professor in the Lamar University College of Business is leading the charge for a forensic audit and vote of no-confidence in the university’s president and provost.
As the result of a motion by Assistant Professor Kelly Weeks to propose the audit and vote, the university’s Faculty Senate has established an ad-hoc committee to investigate his concerns about the university’s management of funds.
Weeks declined to speak on the record about his motion.
According to minutes from an April meeting of the body, if the committee does not receive a response from university administration or gets a negative result from the six-month investigation, the Faculty Senate will call for the no-confidence vote and ask the Board of Regents to perform a forensic audit.
The Faculty Senate is the “official coordinating body of faculty views” relating to academic activities and as such provides policy advisement for administration, according to the university.
In a prepared statement, the university said the budget concerns raised by the faculty member largely come from the allocation of resources to support operations after Tropical Storm Harvey and “other factors that impacted revenue.”
The statement says the university saw a $5 million deficit after Harvey, declining international student enrollment and a $3.2 million decrease in funding given to the university by the state.
“Once Harvey hit, Lamar University immediately redirected money and effort to help students cope with the impact of the disaster,” the statement said. “Further resources were made available to help faculty and staff. The total expenditure amounted to just under $3 million. Understandably, this reallocated both funding and expectations university wide.”
The budget office has kept college deans up-to-date on budgets, expectations and adjustments during the past 18 months, according to the statement.