State Receives Permission to Audit Public University Foundations
By Elizabeth Miller
The Ohio auditor’s office now has permission to audit private non-profit foundations that represent and give money to public universities. The decision affects all 13 of Ohio’s public universities.
Ohio auditor Dave Yost sought permission for the audits from Attorney General Mike DeWine after 3 university foundations refused to be reviewed.
“Our office has been auditing all the other university foundations around the state," said Yost. "It was just these 3 that contested our authority to do so. They’re in a minority.”
In the past, the three university foundations at Kent State, the University of Toledo, and Youngstown State had been audited privately and the financials were then provided to the state. In a legal opinion to Yost late last week, DeWine said private non-profit university foundations are subject to audits by the state because their primary purpose is to solicit and receive money on behalf of a public college. Yost says that “purpose” gives his office authority to audit any public university’s private foundation.
"These are instrumentalities of the university," said Yost.
Kent State University foundation’s leaders received the decision Monday morning, and say they will cooperate with the Attorney General’s office. In fiscal year 2014-2015, the KSU Foundation reported assets totaling nearly $180 million.