Faculty wants study on spending of ex-president of LSU Health Sciences
Those fees included thousands of dollars in alcohol, fancy dinners, and first-class travel for him and his wife.
NEW ORLEANS — Faculty members at the LSU Health Science Center are asking the new president to look into his predecessor’s charity spending after a joint WWL-TV and Times-Picayune investigation last week.
The LSU School of Health Senate has sent a letter to interim president Steve Nelson expressing concern over news reports detailing the costs of former president Larry Hollier. Faculty members called them “clear abuse of LSU Health Foundation New Orleans funds.”
Those fees included thousands of dollars in alcohol, lavish dinners, and first-class travel for himself and his wife.Hollier earned $1 million as Chancellor of LSU Health in New Orleans. I was paid more than
“The Board will investigate the lack of fiduciary oversight and take necessary steps to ensure that donations are used as intended before donors determine that LSU Health is not worthy of their financial contributions. I am requesting the Association,” said the letter from the faculty. Senate Speaker Judy Crabtree.
The LSU Health Foundation, an LSU-affiliated charity, defended Holler’s use of the Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund to spend the money and said the reimbursement followed all policies and procedures. However, the Foundation has not created a policy stating what can and cannot be charged to the Prime Minister’s account.
Foundation spokesman Greg Beuerman said, “The Foundation claims that it has always followed the policies contained in its governing documents, namely the Guidelines Document, the Membership Agreement and PM-48. It is used to verify all disbursements of funds.”
The “guideline document” provided by Beuerman specifically states that it is merely guidance, not policy, and applies only to endowed funds. PM-48 is his LSU school policy and, on behalf of LSU employees, all expenditures by his LSU affiliates, including LSU’s Health Foundation, are “in accordance with any affiliation agreement with LSU and the policies of the organization.” It will be subject to proceedings,” he said.
Beuerman refused to provide a copy of the LSU Health Foundation’s affiliation agreement.
He said “ultimate authority and oversight” over the prime minister’s spending comes from the LSU board or its designees. Under PM-48, all reimbursements of her over $1,000 to LSU employees must be reported quarterly to the Board of Directors or its designee. The press reviewed his 600 pages of Hollier’s receipts and expense forms since 2018 and found 27 reimbursements of his over $1,000.
Beuerman did not provide any of the quarterly reports submitted to the university, but said they were all “reviewed to ensure compliance with standards.” For most of Hollier’s tenure as prime minister, the board’s nominee was Keith Schloss, the vice-chancellor for finance, LSU said.
Schroth’s own spending using foundation credit cards was accused of being “personal, inappropriate, or excessive” in a law firm investigation from 2009.
Hollier and Schroth resigned last fall after the audit was released. Hollyer continues to work for LSU’s School of Health, where in 2022 she will earn more than $750,000.
Nelson provided WWL-TV and The Times-Picayune with the LSU medical school policy established when he was dean of the medical school. It governs the proper use of the Foundation Expenditure Account by medical school employees, including claims for alcohol, use of first class flights or accommodations without prior approval by the Dean, and spending more than $105 per person at dinner. Expenses are expressly prohibited. Hollier did so repeatedly.
The policy also asks medical school employees before using Foundation funds to ask, “If this were my money, would I spend it this way?” , would I still spend money?” Are you comfortable? ”
According to Beuerman, medical school policy did not apply to Hollier. Because he was president of LSU’s Center for Health Sciences for 16 years, he oversaw not only the medical school, but his five other organizations, including the School of Nursing and the School of Dentistry.
A spokesperson for Nelson said the LSU Health Science Center sought in 2019 to obtain a “foundation for developing policies and procedures for the reimbursement of uncontributed funds,” including the Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund.
But spokeswoman Leslie Kapo said such efforts were “rejected by the foundation.” She said the foundation’s chief financial officer, Tim Hemphill, said that “discretionary funds are to be used at the holder’s discretion as they see fit within the scope of LSUHSC’s mission. ‘ he wrote.
Three days after WWL-TV and Times-Picayune’s initial report, the foundation’s board chairman, Warren Gotzegen, wrote to his fellow board members and issued an independent report “including recommendations for internal controls over discretionary funds.” proposed an audit.
Gotzegen’s letter denounced Hollier’s reporting of expenditures as “irresponsible” and “misleading,” but said, “Clearly, we have no intention of using those funds explicitly for the benefit of HSC. I have relied on the Prime Minister for this, and will continue to do so.”
Gottsegen also said, “The foundation had previously made efforts to cut such spending, but it was overthrown by leaders at the LSU Center for Health Sciences,” which LSU denies.
Gotzegen’s letter was leaked to WWL-TV. After the press asked him about the audit, Beuerman replied that there would be no specific audit. Instead, Beuerman said the audit of the foundation’s annual financial statements would proceed as normal.
That report may not answer the question of whether Hollier did something inappropriate. The Postlethwaite & Netterville company has said in previous reports that it does not comment on internal controls.
“We express no such opinion,” the auditor wrote. Her CEO of the company did not return a message requesting comment.
The only section of the latest 30-page audit that mentions Foundation reimbursements is a single sentence listing the total amount paid by the Foundation to all LSU employees.
– Times-Picayune staff writer Joseph Cluny contributed to this report
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