TOPEKA — Kansas State University's new president promised Thursday that the university will spell out next month how it plans to deal with issues raised by a state audit disclosing questionable financial transactions.
President Kirk Schulz said Thursday he's already taken steps to restructure the athletic department's administration because of the audit. Those steps included greater oversight by the board of directors of the nonprofit corporation running athletic programs and having its legal business handled by the university's general counsel.
Schulz, who became president in June, the same month the audit was released, spoke to the Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees the higher education system. He said he's asked alumni and others to give him until June 2010 to restore their confidence that university officials are good fiscal stewards.
"We're trying to put in place checks and balances," he said.
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The regents hoped for a full response this month but said they are pleased with Schulz's progress. They said K-State has become more transparent in its financial dealings.
"I have really been impressed with how you have handled this to this point," said regent Gary Sherrer, a former lieutenant governor from Overland Park.
The audit, released in June, was an exit review for former President Jon Wefald, who retired.
The issues it raised included undocumented payments totaling $845,000 to a former athletic director, a former vice president who also had served as athletic director and football coach Bill Snyder.
It also suggested there were potential conflicts of interest in the management of a business incubator affiliated with the university.
Schulz appointed a 12-member committee in August to make recommendations for administrative changes.
"At least the preliminary things I've seen will clean up the things identified in the audit," he told the regents, declining to be more specific.