State law calls for an annual financial-compliance audit of the general purpose financial statements and “the financial affairs and transactions of a state agency required to comply with federal government audit requirements…” CliftonLarsonAllen, under contract with Legislative Post Audit, conducted this two-part audit. The first part was the report on the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (report R-14-018, released in December 2014). This second part, the Report on Federal Awards in Accordance with OMB Circular A-133, reports on compliance with laws, regulations, and provisions of contracts and grant agreements.
The auditors concluded that, except for the Foster Care program, the state complied, in all material respects, with the requirements applicable to each of the federal programs audited. The auditors found material non-compliance in the requirements regarding subrecipient monitoring in the Foster Care program. The auditors reported 27 deficiencies in internal control, including five material weaknesses. The auditors also identified questioned costs for a number of programs. Five of the findings were repeated from prior years.
State Agency Information Systems: Reviewing Security Controls in Selected State Agencies – Kansas Board of Regents
The Legislative Post Audit Committee has directed our office to conduct ongoing information system audits as an adjunct to the division’s compliance and control audits. The current three-year plan started with a statewide assessment of what types of sensitive datasets the state maintains and which agencies are responsible for those data. The results of that audit formed the basis of a risk assessment we used to select agencies for agency-specific audits. This audit evaluated state of information technology security in the selected agency.
The Information Technology Executive Council has adopted IT security standards for the state. This audit evaluated how well the selected agency adhered to about 100 ITEC requirements or best practices across twenty different information technology security areas.
This report is kept permanently confidential under K.S.A. 45-221(a)(12) because the information it contains could jeopardize the agency’s IT security. No corresponding public report has been issued.
State Agency Information Systems: Reviewing Security Controls in Selected State Agencies (CY2013)
Agency staff continue to struggle with two key areas we have audited before: ensuring servers and workstations are patched to prevent vulnerabilities, and having an adequate plan in place to be able to continue operations in the event of an emergency. Overall, we reviewed seven IT security processes across eight agencies and saw that some agencies are more committed to IT security than others. While all agencies could make improvements to their processes to help ensure confidential information is protected, agencies most committed to IT security were the agencies more likely to have strong IT security processes in place protect their confidential information.
Kansas Lottery: Funding of Scholarships for Veterans
We looked to see whether the state’s National Guard Educational Assistance Program duplicates available federal benefits for members of the National Guard. We found that there is some limited duplication between the state’s program and federal Post 9-11 GI Bill (GI Bill), but eliminating the state’s program would significantly affect members of the Air National Guard. Specifically, state and GI Bill funding cover two different National Guard populations, although there is some overlap. Further, for veterans who are eligible for both the state and federal programs, it is rare that federal dollars could fully replace state benefits. Finally, eliminating the state’s National Guard Educational Assistance Program would have little impact on members of the Army National Guard, but would significantly affect members of the Air Guard. We also noted that while the National Guard Educational Assistance Program is supposed to be funded through the Lottery’s Veteran game, State General Fund monies have made up a significant portion of the program’s funding. Further, we noticed that language in the National Guard Educational Assistance Act may be outdated.
State Employee Residence: Assessing Potential Increases in Revenues by Requiring State Employees to Reside in Kansas
We estimate that about 3,600 state and school district employees live outside Kansas. Imposing a residency requirement for state employees would only generate new tax revenues if out-of-state employees move to Kansas. If 25% of all out-of-state employees move to Kansas, a residency requirement could generate approximately $2 million a year in state and local tax revenues. This includes $1.4 million in new taxes paid by the employees, and another $650,000 in indirect tax revenues from increased economic activity. However, in order to generate meaningful revenues, a residency requirement would need to be implemented aggressively, which would significantly affect out-of-state employees. If the requirement was put into effect in the near term, employees would have to move or seek new employment. Grandfathering in current out-of-state employees would remove the impact on them, but would essentially eliminate the new tax revenue. Finally, adopting a residency requirement would limit the labor pool for state agencies and could be expensive to administer.
Kansas Board of Regents: Evaluating the Effects of Eliminating the Kan-ed Program
The Kan-ed program provides access to a network to which schools, libraries and hospitals can connect for broadband Internet, video conferencing, and distance learning. Access is free for those entities, but Kan-ed pays about $690 per month for each connection. The network was designed to support high-quality video conferencing and distance learning, and although the network can be used to access the Internet, it is a very slow and expensive way of providing Internet access. Further, most members connected to the network don’t need the network—they need only commercial Internet access (for about $70 per month) or no Internet connection at all. By disconnecting members that do not need the network for video conferencing and using commercial Internet connections instead, Kansas could save as much as $2 million a year, although some one-time penalties may apply. In addition, we found that about one-third of connected members used the network for video conferencing or distance learning. Most of those members were K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Hospitals and libraries rarely used the network for video conferencing. While we identified a number of less costly alternatives that could support video conferencing and distance learning, the costs and quality would vary. Next, although Kan-ed has routinely funded databases and software services, it is not part of their mission and it is not clear if the Kansas Universal Service Fund can be used for this purpose. Further, the Kan-ed program has focused on connecting new members and has not been managed to control costs. Related to that, Kan-ed has not formally assessed each member’s needs before connecting them and has done a poor job of monitoring network connections to ensure that members actually need them and has rarely disconnected unneeded connections. Finally, the program has provided almost $1 million in grants and subsidies since 2009 to entities who are not eligible for membership.
State Universities: Reviewing Issues Related to Students’ Excess Credit Hours
We found one in six students attending Kansas’ six state universities had excess credit hours--hours beyond 115% of those required for their degree programs. However, excess credit hours represented only 1.5% of all credit hours those students attempted. We estimate the State wouldn’t save any money by reducing excess credit hours because the State’s funding for the universities isn’t tied to credit hours. Neither we nor the university officials could identify specific or significant university savings that could result from reducing excess credit hours. Officials from all six universities told us they have taken several actions that could curb excess credit hours. However, because the State doesn’t face the same kinds of capacity issues as other states face, and because the State likely wouldn’t realize significant savings, more aggressive actions to reduce excess credit hours aren’t warranted at this time.
State Universities: Can State Universities Provide Postsecondary Education More Efficiently To Reduce Costs? (A K-GOAL Audit)
Our focus was on general-use operating expenditures funded with State General Fund and tuition revenues; we excluded restricted funds like federal grants and student fees, the University of Kansas Medical School, and Kansas State’s Veterinary Medicine School and Extension Programs. In fiscal year 2008, general use operating expenditures per FTE student ranged from $8,330 at Fort Hays State to $14,191 at the University of Kansas. Overall, Emporia State and the University of Kansas spent about $2,000 more per FTE student than their in-State counterparts. The vast majority of the universities’ general use operating expenditures were for education-related expenditures (72% to 85% of the total). Most of the differences in the amounts spent for educational programs appeared to be caused by differences among the six universities in staffing and salary levels. Numerous options exist for delivering universities’ academic programs and courses more economically or efficiently. Actions that universities in other states have reported taking to help reduce academic spending include eliminating or combining low-enrollment course sections, academic departments, or degree programs within universities; collaborating across universities to share course content, teachers, and instructional programs; increasing the number of courses offered online or through distance learning; and increasing faculty workloads. Actions they’ve reported taking to help reduce their institutional spending include maximizing the use of existing classroom and laboratory space to reduce the need for additional space; consolidating or changing administrative functions or processes—both within and across universities; outsourcing some non-academic services such as food service and grounds maintenance; sharing purchasing costs, and reducing energy costs. The State’s six universities have implemented some of these ideas to varying degrees, but there are numerous opportunities for additional efficiencies. Given recent budget cuts, the universities already may have taken some of the actions described in this report.
Regents’ Information Systems: Following Up On Computer-Security Issues at Various Universities
This audit followed up on a 2005 computer-security audit of Kansas State University, Emporia State University, and the University of Kansas. That audit included a large number of recommendations related to missing or inadequate security policies, and to non-policy areas such as the authority of the security officer position and the efficiency of the policy-setting process. In this audit, we found that the three universities have fully implemented very few of the policy recommendations from the 2005 report. While ESU did the best, fully complying with 28 of 41 recommendations, KSU complied with only 7 of 33, and KU complied with only 5 of 33. In testing some of the areas, we found significant access control problems at one university. Finally, we found that the universities have implemented most of the non-policy recommendations from the 2005 audit report.
Community Colleges: Examining Whether There Are Ways To Share Resources To Reduce Costs
The Higher Education Coordination Act provided for increased State funding so that community colleges could reduce their reliance on local property tax revenues. The anticipated reductions in local property tax revenues didn’t happen largely because about 21% of the promised funding wasn’t provided and because 10 community colleges didn’t fully comply with the law, even when additional funding was provided. Even so, nine community colleges did reduce their reliance on property tax revenues from 2000 to 2007. Factors such as increased enrollments and tuition rates and growth in assessed valuations where those colleges are located likely had as much to do with the property tax reductions as provisions in the Act. Community colleges like Independence and Coffeyville could do a lot more than they currently do to share resources. In the area of academics they could eliminate duplicate programs with small enrollment and look at sharing faculty, particularly through the use of interactive video conferencing or online courses. Many items could be jointly purchased. For example, simply joining a consortium to purchase natural gas could save the two colleges an estimated $64,000. Sharing support services such as financial aid and registrar functions is more difficult with separate institutions because of factors like competition for students, the lack of standardized procedures and the fact that there are two separate boards of trustees making decisions.
The KU Medical Center and KU Hospital: Reviewing Selected Operational Issues
Since 2001, research spending from all sources has grown from 23% of total spending in 2001 to 32% in 2007. The amount of the State operating grant spent for research accounts for only $3.6 million, and represents an unchanged 3% of State grant expenditures. However, more of the State grant now is being spent on other costs, and less on education. The Kansas City campus received almost all the $13.3 million increase in State grant moneys since 2001. Among other things, it uses State funds to pay for the Medical Center’s Kansas City-based administrative operations, and some residency program costs, an expense covered by different funding sources in Wichita. The big increase in research spending has come from other sources—primarily federal research grants generated by faculty on the Kansas City campus. The differences in the amounts spent on research between Kansas City and Wichita have raised concerns in Wichita, which has received accreditation citations for not having research opportunities. The Legislature created the University of Kansas Hospital Authority in 1998 to improve the financial viability of the KU Hospital. The current organizational relationship between the Hospital and Medical Center follows State law, and is similar to how teaching hospitals and medical schools are organized in many other states. However, the financial relationship between the Medical Center and Hospital isn’t defined in State law, and is a source of contention between the two. Although comparisons of financial support with other states have significant limitations, the amount of financial support the Medical Center has received in the past from all affiliated hospitals does appear to be relatively low. The value of the care provided to medically indigent patients may be recorded as either charity care or bad debt, and is referred to as uncompensated care. When reporting the value of charity care or bad debt in its financial statements, the KU Hospital follows generally accepted accounting principles. Those principles require public teaching hospitals to report the value of that care based on their established charges for the services provided. However, reporting the value of uncompensated care (charity care plus bad debt) on that basis results in much higher dollar figures than if the care is valued based either discounted rates for paying patients or the cost of the care.
The KU Medical Center and KU Hospital: Reviewing Selected Financial Issues
We saw no evidence to indicate the Medical Center was having trouble covering its ongoing operations. From 2004-2006, its current assets for ongoing operations increased by about 31%, its current liabilities for ongoing operations increased by 13%, and its cash balances and ratios looked healthy. The School of Medicine has made multi-year commitments totaling $79 million to department chairs since 1999. The Medical Center has paid about 61% of the commitments made since 2003, mostly with KU Endowment and Research Institute funds. Over the next five years, the Medical Center has committed nearly $250 million to capital expenditures, which have been approved by the Board of Regents and the Legislature, and have identified funding sources. Finally, officials recently unveiled plans to spend $800 million over 10 years to expand research. Funding sources haven’t been fully identified; possible sources include moneys from an affiliation with St. Luke’s Hospital as well as contributions from the Kansas City area. The Legislature appropriated $5 million to the KU Cancer Center for both fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to help it reach a designation from the National Institutes of Health as a Cancer Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2006, Center officials indicated that State funding would be used for research, drug discovery, outreach, and administration. In fiscal year 2007, about $2.2 million of the $5 million appropriation (45%) was used for research. Center officials indicated State funds are used to fill the gaps that other funding sources don’t cover. This year, the Hospital Authority executed a $1.8 million separation agreement with its former CEO. Nothing in law or regulation prohibited the Hospital from giving a separation package of that size, which was equal to three years of the CEO’s annual base salary. The agreement included both ongoing responsibilities and concessions from the CEO. Board members told us they thought the separation package was in the Hospital’s best interest. We tried to determine if similar packages had been granted in other states where the hospital CEO had left, but were unable to make a determination because information of this nature was limited. In April 2006, the Hospital contracted for a new medical-records system projected to cost about $50 million over five years. The cost difference between the two vendors was calculated at between about $1 million and about $12 million– much smaller than the $30 million some thought. The range of costs resulted from uncertainty about the amount of work the Hospital would have to supply to implement the software. The Board’s decision appeared to be based on the fact that Epic did the best in all the Hospital’s evaluations, and that physicians and staff preferred it to Cerner. Board members told us cost was a secondary consideration.
Kan-ed: A K-GOAL Audit Determining Whether It’s Achieving the Intended Results
In all, 90% of eligible entities are members of Kan-ed, and 34% of those members are fully connected members who can take advantage of videoconferencing and distance learning. A number of members told us they don’t need videoconferencing and distance learning, but others cited a lack of information, equipment, or expertise as reasons for not being connected. Kan-ed officials could strengthen its grant programs by enforcing provisions requiring members to connect as a condition for receiving grant moneys and by monitoring grant spending. Kan-ed’s marketing efforts haven’t been particularly effective because members say the information they receive is too technical, or doesn’t fully explain the benefits of being connected or how to connect to the network. Connected school districts generally have the capability to provide distance learning in a majority of their buildings, mostly through the use of local area networks. It appears that a significant number of new members may become connected over the next five years. If that happens, Kan-ed officials may need to take some of the money they currently use for broadband subsidies and apply that money to equipment grants. A recent study concluded that consolidating Kan-ed with two other similar Statewide networks wasn’t feasible because of differing security levels, differing backbone speeds, and differing governance structures. Although there are pros and cons to having Kan-ed administered by the Board of Regents or some other agency, we saw no significant benefit to be gained from moving Kan-ed at this time.
Postsecondary Educational Institutions: Reviewing Tuition Rates Being Charged To Non-Resident Students in Kansas
State law specifically authorizes tuition reductions for some non-resident students, and allows schools to enact other reductions. In Fall 2005, about 12,000 of the nearly 27,000 non-resident students at Kansas public colleges and universities (46%) received some type of waiver or discount, which resulted in tuition reductions of nearly $26 million. Specific statutory authorizations, such as those for active military members and employees of the school, accounted for 40% of the students and 56% of the money. Policies approved by boards of regents and trustees accounted for the remainder. These school policies included tuition reductions for residents of certain counties in bordering states, online students, and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Even with the rate reductions, tuition paid by non-resident students at State universities more than covered the estimated cost of teaching those students. This wasn’t true at community colleges, where non-resident tuition rates are far lower than the cost per credit hour to begin with. Beginning in the late 1990s, Congress enacted several tax deductions or credits. After these tax benefits took effect the average out-of-pocket tuition costs per student actually decreased in Kansas. Since 2002, however, average out-of-pocket tuition costs in Kansas have been rising rapidly. One factor influencing this rise – tuition at State universities increased rapidly after changes made by the 2001 Legislature. By 2004, out-of-pocket tuition costs had climbed past the 1998 level, and continue to rise.
Workforce Development: Reviewing the Use of Workforce Investment Act Moneys in Kansas
Overall, Kansas’ administrative structure conforms to the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act. Issues we identified at the State level: the State board that is supposed to advise the Governor about workforce development programs has rarely met, program monitoring hasn’t been carried out well in recent years, the Department of Commerce’s administration of programs in two local areas conflicts with its State-level oversight and monitoring role, and most of the Department’s current workforce development contracts weren’t competitively awarded. At the local level: three of five local areas don’t have comprehensive One-Stop centers as required, federal reviews have identified numerous instances of spending problems and weak financial controls, and performance goals haven’t always been met. Most local area contracts were competitively bid, and we found no situations that appeared to financially benefit board members or employees.Statewide, 11% of the Workforce Investment Act moneys spent in fiscal years 2003 and 2004 was for administration; the rest was for programs and services for workers and employers. Total spending and the percent spent on administration varied significantly among the five local areas. Local Area 4 (Wichita) recently increased its annual building lease costs by more than $500,000 when it more than doubled the amount of space leased for its comprehensive One-Stop center.Programs and activities that fit the Joint Committee on Economic Development’s definition of workforce development included 35 State and federally funded programs primarily operated by State agencies that received $129 million in funding for 2006, nearly 680 training partnerships between businesses and post-secondary educational institutions, and numerous specialized certifications, associate degree programs, and short courses aimed at qualifying persons for a specific type of job without having to fulfill additional general education requirements.
The Regents Institutions: Reviewing Proposals for Increased Maintenance Funding at the State’s Colleges and Universities (limited-scope audit)
The 1996 Legislature authorized bonds that funded nearly $179 million for construction and renovation projects for the State’s six universities known as the “Crumbling Classrooms Initiative.” In 2004, a new Board of Regents study showed that $584 million would be needed to cover deferred maintenance needs at the six State universities. Based on information in the study, about $95 million would be needed to address maintenance and repair issues for buildings and utilities and infrastructure components rated as “critical.” Most buildings that had projects funded under the crumbling classrooms initiative are shown in the current study as needing additional work. Because the study doesn’t list specific projects, staff couldn’t do a project-by project comparison between moneys spent with crumbling classrooms initiative and the proposed spending. Of the 138 buildings that received funding under the crumbling classrooms initiative, 134 are identified in the 2004 study as needing funds to fix maintenance backlogs.
Board of Regents’ Information Systems: Reviewing Computer Security at Various Universities
Universities must balance the need for computer security in an extremely complex environment with the need for a free and open exchange of information. Our review of computer security policies at Kansas State and Emporia State Universities and the University of Kansas showed that in many areas the security procedures described were adequate, but hadn’t been adopted as official written policies. Written policies are important in security because they help ensure consistency and communicate the intent of upper-level management. We also noted many instances of no or inadequate policies in such areas as encrypting confidential data, having disaster recovery plans, and planning for security in new systems. The policy-setting process at these universities can be lengthy and cumbersome, requiring review and sometimes approval by many campus committees. The security function is strongest at the two larger universities. They both have taken a proactive approach to managing computer security by developing policies and incident response teams, actively promoting security awareness to their users, and protecting computers belonging to students living in the residence halls from computer viruses.Because of security considerations, specific problems with security policies were not discussed in any detail in this report. We provided separate confidential reports and recommendations to each university.
Faculty Teaching Loads at Kansas Universities: A K-GOAL Audit of the Board of Regents
During Fall 2003, full-time faculty in selected departments at the 7 universities overseen by the Board of Regents typically taught about 3 classes each, spent about 9 hours per week in the classroom, and taught a total of 80 students. Teaching loads hadn’t changed significantly since our 1985 audit, but the number of hours faculty spent teaching, and the number of students they taught, were somewhat lower. Faculty salaries generally stayed well ahead of inflation, but salary disparities in the same departments across universities have grown significantly. Universities are placing somewhat less reliance now on using graduate teaching assistants to teach classes than in the past. The Board of Regents requires prospective faculty and graduate teaching assistants to be interviewed, and tested if necessary, to determine whether they are proficient in spoken English, but it hasn’t monitored the policy’s effectiveness. For our sample candidates, most universities didn’t follow all applicable requirements, but 69% of the candidates had been through some type of proficiency screening process. Despite the existence of the current policy, problems still existed with some of these instructors’ English-speaking proficiency.
Proprietary Schools: Reviewing the Board of Regents’ Responsibilities and Oversight (100-hour audit)
Both the Attorney General and the Board of Regents have received complaints, primarily about 2 proprietary schools. The Board's current level of oversight of proprietary schools needs to be strengthened to provide better assurance that the schools can meet their obligations to students. The minimum standards the Board has adopted don't establish the criteria schools must meet to operate in Kansas. The Board also hasn't implemented written policies and procedures, and Board actions to approve schools aren't well documented. Four proprietary schools whose records we reviewed had been approved even though some requirements hadn't been strictly met. The Board also needs a better system for tracking complaints it receives. Like Kansas, other states we contacted generally don't devote many resources to the oversight of proprietary schools.
Reviewing Issues Related to Community Colleges’ Customized Employee Training Courses
In fiscal year 1997, 16 of 19 community colleges offered customized training courses to business employees for college credit. Dodge City Community College offered most of that training, primarily for two meat-processing plants. Most customized training classes are taught by company employees, and at the companies’ own facilities using their equipment. Because the colleges and businesses generally have agreed the businesses would pay tuition while the college would pay them back for instructors’ fees and “rent,” most customized classes were provided at no cost to the requesting businesses. Some businesses even made money on these classes. For example, the two meat-processing plants in Dodge City received almost $600,000 more than they paid in tuition. In this case, Dodge City Community College also came out ahead financially because it received almost $1.6 million in State aid for these classes. Altogether, community colleges got nearly $2.1 million in State credit-hour aid for customized training courses. Because the total amount of credit-hour aid is fixed and is distributed in proportion to the credit hours each college generates, Dodge City got much more of the available aid than it would have if it didn’t have such an extensive customized training program.
Reviewing the Compensation of Executives of the State’s Economic Development Agencies
The compensation for economic development executives is set by the boards or officials they report to, and their compensation usually is based on studies of salaries for similar positions. Most economic development executives in Kansas receive compensation that’s comparable to what officials in other states receive. We identified relationships between economic development agency staff and 13 of the 61 technology-based companies we reviewed. Some of those relationships appeared to represent a conflict of interest. State law is unclear about whether some employees are subject to the State’s ethics laws. Also, most economic development agencies don’t have written policies and procedures in this area, and university conflict-of-interest forms don’t require full disclosure. Unlike in some other states, Kansas’ economic development employees aren’t prohibited from having an interest in companies that receive assistance from the agencies they work for.
Examining Universities’ Use of Margin of Excellence Moneys
The Board of Regents provided only general instructions to its institutions for budgeting Margin of Excellence moneys, but it approved all Margin budget requests before those requests were submitted to the Legislature. Individual institutions' plans for spending their Margin money appeared to comply with their mission statements. Except for Wichita State University, all the Regents' institutions pooled their Margin salary parity and merit pay moneys before distributing any salary increases in fiscal years 1989 and 1990. Tenured or tenure-track faculty at Wichita State and Kansas State Universities received average salary increases of 8-10 percent for 1989 and 1990; University administrators received average raises that were comparable to or less than faculty pay raises. Finally, both Wichita State and Kansas State used their Margin of Excellence program enhancement moneys for a variety of items such as hiring unclassified staff and purchasing library materials and equipment.
Off-Campus Courses Taught by the Regent’s Universities
The number of off-campus courses has declined about 17 percent since 1979, while the types of classes showed little change. Some off-campus classes were not approved before the classes started, as required by Board policy. For the off-campus classes sampled, direct revenues generated by students amounted to less than half the total costs associated with the classes. Finally, off-campus classes appeared to be comparable in quality to on-campus classes, although several universities did not have adequate methods to ensure compliance with Board policies related to off-campus instructors.
Faculty Salaries in Kansas and the Resources Committed to Pay Them
On a per-credit-hour basis, both the University of Kansas and Kansas State University had less money than the average of their peer schools to spend on faculty salaries during fiscal year 1987. Kansas schools receive more of their funding from the State General Fund than the average of the peer schools. Factors that may impact on the amount of money available for faculty salaries in Kansas include a somewhat lower tax effort, a large postsecondary student population, and a somewhat smaller portion of the State budget going to support higher education. If adjusted for the cost of living, faculty salaries in Kansas appear to provide comparable or better purchasing power than in most of the peer states.
Determining the Effect of Eliminating University Degrees and Programs
Between 1983 and 1987, the Board of Regents and the State universities eliminated or modified 185 individual degrees and made16 additional changes to departments or subject areas. Of those changes, 29 allowed the universities to reallocate a total of about $1 million to other university activities. The remaining changes generally did not affect the numbers of faculty and courses, often because another degree was still offered in the same subject area.
Kansas provides loans and scholarships to medical, osteopathic, and optometry students. The Medical Scholarship program does not appear to have had an impact on overall retention rates, but does appear to be encouraging a larger proportion of graduates to practice in underserved areas. About 37 percent of Osteopathic Scholarship recipients stayed in Kansas. The Optometry program is too new to determine any impact it has had on retention rates.
New faculty members generally have less experience and lower rank than the faculty members they replace, but are paid nearly as much. Universities have some difficulties recruiting qualified applicants for positions; about one-fourth the job offers made were declined. Comparisons show that percentage increases in Regents’ faculty salaries between 1974 and 1985 generally kept up with inflation, but actual salaries and fringe benefits are generally lower than at the Regents’ peer institutions.
Entry Into Retirement Annuity Plans at the Regents’ Institutions
Most employees who were signed up immediately for a retirement annuity plan either had a valid contract or the required experience when they started work. But many of those employees got their contract just before they started; they had not been enrolled in a valid plan at another school. The State incurs a cost of about $250,000 a year to pick up these employee’ retirement contributions. The Legislature will need to determine if it intended for these contibutions to be picked up.
Wage Rates for Construction of the Coliseum at Kansas State University
For Riley County, some of the specific hourly wage rates developed through surveys by the Department of Human Resources are significantly higher or lower than rates for surrounding and similar counties. Several rates also changed significantly from 1985 to 1986. The use of data supplied by one contractor for individual rate determinations and other weaknesses in the Department’s methodology have helped cause such variations.
Student Wage Expenditures at the Regents’ Institutions
Universities’ actual expenditures for student wages may differ significantly from the amount authorized by the General Fund line-item appropriation for student salaries and wages because student wages can be paid from other funds. Controls on student wage expenditures also vary between the universities and have different purposes. The audit presents options for increasing legislative control and oversight in this area.
No significant changes have been made in the transfer process since a 1980 performance audit recommended ways to improve that process. But the problem with course transfers does not appear to be a large one.
This audit reviews the workloads of full-time faculty at four State colleges and universities. One result of the study was that full-time faculty reported an average of nearly 54 hours of work during the surveyed week. The audit showed that there is no formal policy Statewide to ensure that faculty members can communicate effectively in English. The audit also examined the extent to which graduate teaching assistants share the teaching load with full-time faculty members.
Collecting Enrollment Fees at the Board of Regents’ Institutions
Some change funds were larger than the law allowed and were improperly authorized. The 1977 Legislature eliminated many of these violations by increasing the maximum size of the change fund. This change did not, however, address other basic problems surrounding the handling of currency during enrollment. In effect, the institutions were still providing banking services by accepting checks for much larger amounts than fees and giving back substantial amounts of currency in change--as much as $911 in the cases observed. Because of these policies, more than $60,000 was generally exposed to loss at any one time. The audit recommended tighter change-making policies to reduce the exposure of currency to loss. The audit also recommended improvements in many internal control procedures at enrollment.
The Planning and Construction of New Facilities at the Board of Regents’ Institutions
Board of Regents institutions accounted for 70% ($110 million) of the expenditures for non-highway construction between fiscal years 1971 and 1975. Between Feburary 1976 and March 1980, buildings costing an additional $123 million were programmed for completion on the campuses. The report found a number of problems with the planning process used by Regents institutions for determining the need for new buildings, their design and construction, and compliance with statutes and other applicable requirements related to planning and construction practices.
Program Results Evaluation of the Kansas Tuition Grant Program
The purpose of this audit is two-fold; (1) to examine the administration of the program by the State Education Commission and, (2) to assess the Program’s impact on Kansas students and independent colleges.