Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Keeping Two Separate Probes Going into FSCJ; Inspector General Looking at Expenses, as Well as a General College System Investigation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Keeping Two Separate Probes Going into FSCJ; Inspector General Looking at Expenses, as Well as a General College System Investigation

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Howard Perry

Two separate state investigations are under way at Florida State College at Jacksonville, but nothing has been made public so far about what they may reveal.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered a review of Florida State College at Jacksonville's direct support organization in October, asking the inspector general to look at all the foundation's expenditures over a five-year period and review its policies on spending. And the Florida College System is also working on a review that's twofold: examining what led to a program that automatically added majors to students' records when they took certain courses, and ensuring the college is on safe financial footing.

Records reviews are ongoing, and some staff members have already been interviewed by the inspector general's office. Their review started almost immediately after the governor's request, but more than two months later the data is still being analyzed, Inspector General Melinda Miguel said in an email through a state spokeswoman.

"We just received three years of supporting documents from the Foundation last week," Miguel said. "It will take us a while to finalize our review."

In addition to the records review, a team from the inspector general's office was at the college for several days conducting interviews with foundation staff and board members. Acting president Judy Bilsky declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

"As with litigation, the College does not comment on ongoing reviews or investigations," Bilsky said in an email through a college spokesman. "At this time, I have no information regarding interviews ... by the Office of the Inspector General. Once a report is finalized, it will of course become public record."

A review of the college's financial picture is also in progress at the Florida College System, where Chancellor Randy Hanna said his office is focused on looking at the circumstances that led to a recent audit finding, and ensuring the college is still complying with state laws about reserve minimums.

$25 MILLION IN QUESTION

The U.S. Department of Education found in an audit that showed the college's automated program to add new majors to student files may have given them access to financial aid they wouldn't otherwise qualify for. …

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