UA trustees accept audit report showing deficit spending

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees on Thursday accepted a state audit report that found a multimillion-dollar shortfall in the fundraising arm of the university.

The board accepted the report after some discussion and after hearing a report on the progress of implementing auditors’ recommendations, University of Arkansas System spokesman Ben Beaumont said.

The audit report detailed an accumulation of $4.19 million deficit over fiscal 2011 and 2012, including both university and UA Foundation funds, in UA’s Advancement Division. Auditors concluded that poor fiscal oversight and a failure to follow university policies and procedures led to the shortfall.

Brad Choate resigned as vice chancellor of the Advancement Division in February after the shortfall became public. UA Chancellor David Gearhart told a legislative panel earlier this month that Choate had failed to provide proper financial oversight of the division.

Choate denied the accusations and claimed the university had set him up as a “fall guy.”