BREAKING NEWS: No wrongdoings found after SRU fiscal review

Published by Nina Cipriani and Joe Wells, Date: April 21, 2022
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The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Chancellor Dan Greenstein admitted Thursday that SRU was under a “forensic review” after the university received allegations about financial concerns in February.

The chancellor said those concerns have been dispelled after the results of the review found no wrongdoing.

“In both instances, no credible evidence was found of any wrongdoing,” Greenstein said. “As far as I’m concerned, this matter is done.”

The Rocket has reached out to PASSHE and the university for a copy of the review and the findings, but has yet to hear back. Previously, The Rocket reached out to the state system multiple times while looking into allegations of financial issues and an alleged audit but never received a response.

The allegations were about the Comprehensive Planning Process (CPP) documents that were given to the state system late last year. The CPP is a budgetary document that explains how universities plan to strategically spend their money.

The PASSHE universities’ presidents manage their budgets locally. Budgetary documents are reviewed by multiple people before heading to the chancellor’s office for approval, Greenstein said.

The chancellor said communication issues between his office and SRU regarding instructions for the CPP brought the concern to light.

The collection of CPPs are used by the state system to help determine the financial need of budget requests at the state level.

“CPPs are critical,” Greenstein said. “[CPPs] are the best visibility you have into where your universities are going [financially].”

The statements on the review came after Cindy LaCom, SRU’s gender studies director, asked for clarification and transparency about the recent removal of Abbey Zink, former provost, and Amir Mohammadi, former senior vice president for administration and economic development, and the audit.

“If effective communication is part of good leadership, our concern is that we have received no information about any of this,” LaCom said. “It’s created a campus climate of alarm.”

SRU President William Behre announced that the university received the results of the forensic review this week.

“There was no way I was speaking about a review before the results came in because then everyone would say I’m trying to alter the results of the review,” Behre said.

Greenstein said he would not comment on the personnel matters at SRU due to policy and asked others to not speak to rumor.

“If you are hearing information, don’t repeat it,” Greenstein said.

Greenstein echoed that SRU is in good financial health when compared to the other PASSHE schools.

“Slippery Rock, financially, is in, relatively speaking, very good shape, compared to other universities,” Greenstein said. “It is one of the universities which has managed … because of decisions made in 2011 to go after, to grow, graduate level programing.”

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