State audit questions loan

Stock Photo by Joseph Basco Student loan rates set to double

Alex Wilson

The state of Florida audited UNF this March due to a loan and several accounting errors.

State auditors noted significant deficiencies within UNF’s accounting books. Issues include an overstatement of  $14 million, an understate of $3 million, and a $500,000 loan to the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

Scott Bennett, Assistant Vice President in Administration and Finance, addressed the issues in an email to the Spinnaker.

“This was simply an accounting reclassification and not erroneous or incorrect amounts.  Neither had any effect on the University’s bottom line,” Bennett said. “The audit criticism was not due to any effect the amounts had on the financial statements but that due to some staffing issues the appropriate classification wasn’t caught sooner.”

According to, an “accounting reclassification” is simply moving money from one account, or ledger, to another.

The MOCA loan, on the other hand, deals with a more legal issue.

“We made the loan to MOCA at a time when it was allowable,” said Sharon Ashton, vice president for Public Relations. “The Board of Governors later adopted a new regulation.”

On May 18, 2011, The Board of Governors adopted a new law which no longer allows the University to make loans to a direct support organization such as MOCA. The newly adopted law achieved this by changing the definition of “property” to no longer include money.

The audit also noted that UNF received no payments from MOCA as of June 30, 2012.

“We’re getting intangible benefits from MOCA every single day,” said Shari Shuman, vice president for Administration and Finance. “We are not concerned about getting paid back.”

Previous to this, the definition of property included money, which allowed a university to loan money to a direct support organization as long as the money didn’t come from student fees.

Email Alex Wilson at [email protected]

Stock Photo by Joseph Basco