State auditor's report consistent with UNT's internal findings

Sept. 25, 2014

Dear UNT community,

Today, the Texas State Auditor's Office released its investigative report regarding state-paid benefits that the UNT System and university discovered while responding to two complaints. The state auditor’s report confirms what we told them in the spring following our internal investigation. UNT had a few employees, who may have been well intended, but who used financial practices for a number of years that were clearly improper.

In the months following our investigation, both the university and System have aggressively pursued the hiring of new financial leaders and launched a financial transformation project that is resulting in reform and the implementation of a first-class accounting system with proper controls. I believe we can have confidence in the changes and assure others that we have restored integrity to our financial systems. I want to thank all of the UNT and System staff members who have worked hard in the past months to help achieve a solid financial foundation for the university and make these changes possible.

While the state auditor’s report calls for the university to reimburse at least $75.6 million to the state during the next 10 years, I believe Texas state officials will seek a thoughtful, fair resolution to this matter. A fair resolution will ensure there’s no adverse impact on our students and our mission to help transform the state by providing an outstanding education here at UNT.

While we await the final resolution of this matter, let’s not lose sight of the opportunity we have to change UNT for the better, especially if we continue to work together. As I’ve said before, sometimes challenges, internally and externally, are the best opportunities for transformation. We’re changing UNT for the better as we continue to improve our operations and efficiencies, increase collaboration, grow our revenues and build stronger academic support systems for our students.

Let’s stay focused on helping our students achieve their dreams. Thanks for your “can-do” attitude and for all you do to help UNT get better…every day.


Neal Smatresk