LSU has not yet released the full third-party audits of its Alumni Association, but a letter from the auditing firm confirms it found no evidence of irregularities or misspent funds.
“The LSU community, and all friends and supporters of the Alumni Association, should find great comfort in the fact that two independent reviews by well-established and respected accounting firms, found no evidence of inappropriate use of Alumni Association funds or assets,” reads the letter, signed by Douglas K. Williams, of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP.
The audits were ordered after a former Alumni Association employee claimed in a lawsuit that she was being paid off to conceal a sexual relationship with former alumni head Charlie Roberts.
Cliff Vannoy was named the new president of the Alumni Association in August.
In a meeting with the Faculty Senate last month, Vannoy said he expected the audit would be released in a matter of days. It’s unclear why that hasn’t happened yet.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said this week that he had not received copies of the report to release to the media.
He sent The Advocate a copy of Williams’ letter confirming Vannoy’s account — that the audit found no wrongdoing.
Vannoy told The Advocate that he will be presenting the audit results to the LSU Board of Supervisors at its December meeting, as well as providing updates on new initiatives and “improvements” at the association.
“In short, it is the dawn of a new era in the history of the association and we are very excited about the future,” Vannoy said in an email Thursday.
Following the scandal alleged in the lawsuit, LSU crafted plans to provide more oversight over its fundraising arms.
The university’s three biggest fundraisers — the LSU Foundation, Tiger Athletic Foundation and the Alumni Association — operate as nonprofits separate from the university, an arrangement that allows them a layer of protection from operating as public entities.
But LSU is in the process of creating a new vice president of institutional advancement position on the system level, and that person — a hire is expected to be announced next month — also will serve as chief executive officer of the LSU Foundation, the biggest of the fundraising groups.
Some have questioned what that will mean for the future of the various alumni groups.
The Alumni Association announced this week that four longtime board members had left the board.
Ending their terms were Mike Woods, of Shreveport, and Guy Campbell, of Monroe, who each served on the board for 13 years; Hals Benhard, of Palmetto, who served 26 years; and Scott Anderson, of Monroe, who had been on the board 21 years. Each had served stints as board chairman, according to the alumni group’s news release.
“We’ve done a lot of amazing things and provided a lot of services for alumni, as well as scholarships and professorships to deserving students and professors,” Campbell said of his departure from the board. “A lot of the organizations have instituted term limits. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
He stressed the importance of the Alumni Association and its future at LSU. The group’s primary function is to provide networking opportunities for LSU grads.
“There’s no other university affiliate that serves that function,” Campbell said.