Auditor Logo Tom Schweich

Report No. 2012-05
February 2012

Complete Report
Findings in the audit of Southeast Missouri State University


Expenditures
The university does not always solicit competitive proposals for professional services and did not retain written agreements for past legal services. Two accounting system users were able to enter and approve their own transactions, increasing the risk of misuse, and the university spent over $60,000 in a 3-year period for employee recognition purposes which did not appear reasonable or necessary.

Comprehensive Food Policy
The university lacks comprehensive guidelines detailing when it is appropriate to provide food.

Foundation
University personnel have not adequately supported the amounts paid for property lease payments made to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. The university also subsidizes a significant portion of the foundation's operating expenses, in an apparent violation of the Missouri Constitution.

Administrative Transfers
The university does not maintain documentation supporting transfers to allocate overhead and shared costs, such as costs for using the Show-Me Center and costs for vending administration and legislative relations attributed to the Housing System Fund.

Employment Contracts
The University President has been allowed to accumulate vacation days, for which he can request payment, without restriction, and, as of June 30, 2010, he had accumulated 1,378 hours worth $128,575. Also, the $286,300 severance payment to the former men's basketball coach appears excessive.

Credit Card Convenience Fees
The university paid almost $700,000 in credit card convenience fees over 3 years instead of requiring credit card users to pay these fees.

Closed Meeting Discussions
The university did not document in open meeting minutes the reasons for closing meetings and could not demonstrate how some topics discussed in closed meetings complied with state law.

Use of University Facilities
The university lacks adequate support for the rates charged for use of university facilities, such as the Show-Me Center and the University Center, and the rates charged may be insufficient to cover the costs.

Show-Me Center Receipts
Weak internal controls over Show-Me Center concession receipts made it difficult to determine which employee was responsible when receipts of $1,908 could not be located.

Taxable Mileage
The taxable mileage reported on employees' W-2 forms is not always adequately supported. None of eight employees we reviewed who were allowed to use dealer- or foundation-provided vehicles for personal usage in 2009 maintained a detailed vehicle usage log, as required by the IRS.

Information Security
The university has not developed an adequate disaster recovery plan to restore computer operations and does not have documented procedures for periodic tests of offsite backup data.

In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Good.*

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (Federal Stimulus)
A $155,337 Recovery Act: Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Areas Shuttle Services grant was received and expended to purchase shuttle buses.

A $1,172,710 Recovery Act: State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Government Services grant was awarded, of which, $1,137,044 was received and expended through June 30, 2010, for expanding student enrollment in medical or nursing majors and retaining one Nursing Department faculty position, which was retained after the grant ended.

A $7,296,681 Recovery Act: State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Education grant was awarded, of which $5,199,967 was received and expended through June 30, 2010, for operational expenses and retaining 114.86 Facilities Management and Information Technology positions, which were retained after the grant ended.

A $379,363 Recovery Act: Environmental Asthma Trigger Training in Schools grant was awarded, of which $4,217 was received and expended through June 30, 2010, for training, providing materials, and funding 1.5 new positions, which were eliminated after the grant ended.

A $61,892 Recovery Act: Federal Work Study grant was received and expended to financially assist eligible postsecondary education students.

A $1,330,000 Recovery Act: Repair and Renovation of Faculty Laboratory Facilities grant was awarded to renovate a lab, but through June 30, 2010, no funds were received or expended.

A $36,019 Recovery Act: Cobra Subsidy Credit was received and expended to subsidize 65 percent of Cobra benefits for terminated employees.

*The rating(s) cover only audited areas and do not reflect an opinion on the overall operation of the entity. Within that context, the rating scale indicates the following:

Excellent:
The audit results indicate this entity is very well managed. The report contains no findings. In addition, if applicable, prior recommendations have been implemented.

Good:
The audit results indicate this entity is well managed. The report contains few findings, and the entity has indicated most or all recommendations have already been, or will be, implemented. In addition, if applicable, many of the prior recommendations have been implemented.

Fair:
The audit results indicate this entity needs to improve operations in several areas. The report contains several findings, or one or more findings that require management's immediate attention, and/or the entity has indicated several recommendations will not be implemented. In addition, if applicable, several prior recommendations have not been implemented.

Poor:
The audit results indicate this entity needs to significantly improve operations. The report contains numerous findings that require management's immediate attention, and/or the entity has indicated most recommendations will not be implemented. In addition, if applicable, most prior recommendations have not been implemented.

Complete Report
Missouri State Auditor's Office
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