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University Building Projects Scrutinized

Dec 26, 2018

Amid increased scrutiny about the financing of university building projects, House panels in January will discuss improper spending at the University of Central Florida and oversight issues in the higher-education system.

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, the House Higher Education & Career Readiness Subcommittee and the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee have scheduled a joint meeting Jan. 9 to delve into the topic.

The scrutiny stems, in part, from a state audit this year that determined UCF had improperly used $38 million in state funding to construct a campus building. The school’s use of the accumulated operating funds was a direct violation of state policy that restricts that funding to activities like instruction, research, student services and maintenance.

The revelation about the UCF spending prompted the university system’s Board of Governors to call for all 12 universities to review their funding of building projects over the last decade.

The meeting of the House panels is scheduled to include a series of topics, including an investigation of the UCF spending, audit processes in the university system and the use of what are known as “carry forward” fund balances at state universities and colleges, according to a House calendar.