RICHLAND– WSU and the Washington State Auditor’s Office have completed investigations of enrollment accounting practices on the Tri-Cities campus based on a whistle-blower complaint.
 
“We have taken immediate action to resolve the situation,” WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Vicky Carwein said. “On behalf of our campus, I apologize to our many supporters.”
 
As a consequence of those investigations and in consultation with WSU President Elson S. Floyd, Carwein has decided to discontinue the duties of four employees.
 
Carwein has appointed Lori Selby the interim vice chancellor for finance and administration, effective immediately. Negotiations are in process for the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs.
 
The Washington State Auditor’s report found that WSU Tri-Cities had
overstated the number of credit hours being taken by students in fall 2006 by about 31 full-time equivalent students (FTE).
 
In conjunction with the state auditor’s report, Carwein asked the WSU
internal auditor to do a more extensive study of the campus’s enrollment reporting practices. The internal auditor found enrollments were similarly overstated for spring 2006 and spring 2007, but did not find misreporting of the fall 2005 and fall 2007 enrollments.
 
In fall 2007, the WSU Tri-Cities campus posted record enrollment of 849 FTE, including members of its first freshman class. The internal audit confirmed those numbers.
 
“Our first priority remains to provide the highest quality education to our
students,” said Carwein, who became campus chancellor in late September 2006.
 
“We appreciate that this was brought to our attention so it could be
corrected and mechanisms put in place so it will not happen again,” she said. “These changes, combined with the successful launch of our four-year expansion, will enable our campus to continue to move forward.”
 
Selby is being promoted from her interim position as the academic director of the WSU Tri-Cities College of Education programs. She previously served as the executive director of administration in the business and finance office at Utah State University and as director of the Department of Sponsored Program Services on the Pullman campus.
 
The state auditor’s report will be posted at
http://www.sao.wa.gov/Whistleblower/Index.htm.