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ABOR meeting update







This morning at the Arizona Board of Regents Audit Committee Consent Agenda meeting, President Ernest Calderon expressed his dissatisfaction over the progress and findings from the 2009 fiscal year audit.

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""I don't buy it,"" Calderon said to Jay Zsorey, financial audit director from the Auditor General's office. ""I don't buy your excuse.


According to Zsorey, the UA audit came out clean but Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University were found to have an ""unqualified audit."" But, he claims there would have been deficiencies in the audit despite the stimulus money.


Committee Chairwoman Anne Mariucci also expressed her disappointment over findings of ""significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in internal control,"" and she urged the regents to require periodic updates throughout the next fiscal year.


""It's a painful discussion, but one we have to have,"" Mariucci said. ""This would have impacted the ability for universities to sell bonds.""


Next, the audit committee heard from Kathleen Bedard, assistant executive director for business and finance. She issued a report on the financial strength of the universities and their ability to stay afloat without stimulus relief.


Her presentation reported that NAU looks strong when compared with other universities across the country but UA and ASU could not survive for longer than 17 weeks without stimulus money.


""[UA and ASU] do not have the strength to be competitive in the market place, compared to their peers,"" Bedard said.


Her report is based on data from the 2008 fiscal year and she said she hopes to have new numbers based on data from the 2009 fiscal year when the board meets again in March.


 


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