Update Regarding Independent Review
April 1, 2010
Below are some of the questions Kansas Athletics has received regarding the independent review of the Williams Educational Fund and the Ticket Office.
Will my WEF donation go toward paying for this investigation?
Absolutely not. Rest assured, 100% of your Williams Fund donation goes to the KU Endowment Association. Kansas Athletics will pay for the review through other sources of revenue. Additionally, no state funds or tuition dollars will be used to pay for this investigation.
WEF donations support KU’s more than 500 student-athletes through scholarships, team travel and related sports operating budgets. The support of our WEF members enables our student-athletes to receive one of the finest academic and athletic experiences in the country.
Have WEF funds been “stolen?”
No, absolutely not. The issue under investigation is related to tickets only. All WEF donations are secure through the Endowment Association. The money is then directed solely to the support and benefit of our student-athletes.
Is KU in any “trouble” with the NCAA?
None whatsoever. This issue neither involves nor relates to NCAA rules and regulations.
Will my ticket prices go up because of this issue?
No, absolutely not.
What safeguards are being put in place to protect against future ticket misuse?
Despite the strong safeguards and internal controls we had in place, we know that even the best systems can be subverted with time and persistence. This is a difficult reminder that we can never be too vigilant with our internal control programs. Once the independent review ordered by the Chancellor concludes and specific issues are identified, per Lew Perkins, we will be in “whatever-it-takes mode” to further improve and tighten our safeguard processes.
Does this investigation suggest that the point system is flawed?
No. The two are unrelated. We are fully confident that the point system structure we have in place serves the Jayhawk fan base well and will remain an essential part of the WEF’s fund-raising efforts. That said, we remain committed to improving any part of the point-system process that needs to be improved.
Has Rodney Jones been fired?
Rodney Jones has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation goes forward.
Will any other staff be placed on leave or fired?
At this time, we are focused on fully cooperating with the independent review. No actions regarding personnel or WEF or Ticket Office processes are anticipated prior to the conclusion of the review.
How can this be an independent investigation if Kansas Athletics is paying for it?
Lew asked the Chancellor to order an investigation. Chancellor Gray-Little has called for an independent review by outside professional organizations to ensure the ticket issue is fully resolved for all parties, including the University as well as our donors and fans.
The Wichita-based law firm Foulston Siefkin LLP and BKD LLP, a national forensic accounting and auditing firm, have been hired to conduct — in the Chancellor’s words — a “thorough and exhaustive” review. No state funds or tuition dollars will be used. Kansas Athletics will pay for the review, but will have no connection with the review other than to respond to the investigative team as they request information. Kansas Athletics does not believe it would be appropriate for the University to bear the financial responsibility for this review.
When will the review be conducted and when can we anticipate its conclusion?
As Chancellor Gray-Little indicated, the review will be comprehensive. The goal is to have the reviews completed as soon as possible, but we have not received a specific timeline from the investigators.
Are you going to release the findings of the review?
Yes, definitely. A report will be released once the review is complete.