University of Wisconsin System officials say a review of transactions between campuses and their private foundations has found no other cases of illegal guarantees or loans being made.
The review was prompted by a lawsuit targeting two former UW-Oshkosh officials, who are accused of making illegal transfers between the university and real estate projects being managed by its foundation. System spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis says they looked at nearly $35 million in transactions on other campuses that took place over the past seven years, and found no evidence of other illegal activity taking place.
The review did identify about $5.4 million in transactions that required a closer look, although none were found to be illegal. Many of those involved money from donors being moved through a campus to the foundation because of how a check was written, or to help with handling cash collected during a fundraising effort. Marquis says there are clearly things they found that can be done better.
The Board of Regents adopted policies earlier this year that are meant to improve transparency and accountability surrounding these types of transactions, such as requiring independent reviews of financial records and adopting clear conflict of interest policies for each foundation.