Trevor Colbourn Hall 2019

Joseph Burby, a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm, presented the final report regarding UCF's misuse of Education and General (E&G) funds for 11 capital projects at the Florida Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday. Last year, Burby led investigations that determined UCF's Trevor Colbourn Hall was constructed using $38.2 million in non-allowable E&G funds.

The final Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm (BCLP) report found that 11 In-Scope projects at UCF (excluding Trevor Colbourn Hall) were improperly funded using educational and general (E&G) funds between the review period of July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2018.

During the Florida Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday, the Audit and Compliance Committee was presented with the results of the investigation of UCF’s misuse of E&G funds as well as their corrective action plan.

Beverly Seay, the UCF Board of Trustees (BOT) Audit and Compliance Committee Chair, said the board will be reviewing their plan to restore the remaining misused funds at their next meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19. She revealed that UCF had already restored non-allowable funding with an appropriate $41 million last year.

Joseph Burby, the lead investigator and partner at BCLP, examined transfers of additional E&G funds for capital projects beyond the funds used for Trevor Colbourn Hall.

The report revealed that projects, such as the construction of the UCF Global building, adjustments to the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) building and energy and power plants, transferred a total amount of $61.3 million from E&G funds. $55.3 million of that amount were E&G funds that carried over from the prior fiscal year.

The total amount of E&G funds that were improperly transferred by UCF to capital projects during the review period rounds out to over $99 million, including the $38.2 million of misused funds used toward Trevor Colbourn Hall.

The UCF Board of Trustees did not formally approve the use of these funds for any of the capital projects except for Global UCF and the CREOL building expansion. The BOT was allegedly unaware that the source of the funds for the projects was potentially improper, according to the BCLP report.

UCF Interim President Thad Seymour Jr. released a statement last Friday prior to the Florida Board of Governors meeting.

“[The discussion of the BCLP report] represents a critical moment for [UCF] — we must reach closure on this issue and agree that an improved, respected UCF is in the best interests of our students, community and state,” Seymour said.

Following Burby’s presentation, Seay described UCF’s intended corrective actions in response to numerous investigative reports regarding the university’s misuse of E&G funds beyond those used to construct Trevor Colbourn Hall.

“From day one of my involvement [with the analysis of non-allowable E&G dollars beyond Trevor Colbourn Hall], I committed us to correct all of the identified funding problems and stand up new controls based on what we learned,” Seay said. 

During her presentation, Seay also said that throughout the investigation process, the BOT acted on the best information and guidance they had at the time.

“The $17.3 million that UCF will restore based on [the BCLP] report’s findings is from the College of Medicine furniture, fixtures and equipment project as well as the Combined Heating and Power Plant and Global UCF projects on the main campus,” UCF Spokesperson Chad Binette said.

Two-thirds of the non-allowable funds have already been identified and are in the process of being restored. Seay said that the remaining funds will be restored by the end of the year.

“However, just as important is what we are doing to prevent this from happening again,” Seay said. "That is my priority as the new Chair of the UCF Board of Trustees." 

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