FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Big money bonuses and extra benefits — they’re just some of the findings from a state audit of Kentucky State University’s finances. The state auditor’s office said the school’s books aren’t adding up.

The big takeaways include millions of dollars in federal grant money being considered “at risk,” more than a million dollars spent on credit cards — with little to no documentation, and thousands given away in bonuses and perks like extra health insurance.

It also shows KSU’s former president received more than $84,000 in housing allowance — with the school spending nearly $4,000 on his utility bills and claims the former president used money meant for recognizing students for a daylong retreat for board members.

These findings were presented at a press conference with both Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon and representatives from Kentucky State University.


“The many problems found in our examination did not happen overnight, and to be honest with you, frankly, they’re not going to be corrected overnight either,” Harmon said.

KSU Interim President Dr. Ronald Johnson agreed with these findings, saying the work to correct it needs to start now. these problems did not happen under his leadership.

“It provides insightful recommendations for sustainable for a sustainable Kentucky state university. while several of the issues identified in the audit findings occurred under the previous administration, the current key issue, leadership recognizes the urgent need to address the challenges that lay before us,” Johnson said.

The question now is, what should the university do to fix these problems?

“Through improved practices, policies, and a comprehensive focus on innovation. This plan enables KSU to take quick action in response to recommendations provided in the audit report,” Johnson said.

It’s a work in progress, but right now, the university is working to update policies involving financial oversight, board involvement, and staff training.

“You have to know that the people who are supposed to get the benefits are getting the benefits. The people who are supposed to provide the benefits know what they’re doing and are able to deliver those benefits. We need to know those things. If we don’t, then we have a problem. That’s one of the reasons for checks and balances,” Johnson said.

the KSU special examination is being sent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Education.