ALL PAGES CONFIDENTIAL

Memorandum for the Record
Review of Contracts Executed at Alabama A&M University from September 2009-May 2010

Trustee, James D. Montgomery, Sr. 6/25/2010

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
Subject: Review Contracts Executed From September 2009 - May 2010

Submitted: June 24, 2010

Purpose and Overview
Alabama A&M University Trustees have certain responsibilities (some of which are fiduciary). As fiduciaries we are individually and collectively legally appointed , authorized and given exclusive jurisdiction, power and authority with regard to the supervision, management, and control of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University; ....." Further the Act enacted by Alabama State Legislature states: "The Board of Trustees has the power to organize the University by appointing a president, whose salary shall be fixed by the Board, and employing a corps of instructors, who shall be nominated to the board in writing by the president and who shall be styled the faculty of the University, and such other instructors and officers as the interests of the university may require; and to remove any such instructors or other officers, and to fix their salaries or compensation and increase or reduce the same at their discretion; to regulate, alter or modify the government of the University, as they deem advisable; to prescribe courses of instruction, rates of tuition, and fees; to confer such academic and honorary degrees as are usually conferred by institutions of similar character; and to do whatever else they may deem best for promoting the interest of the University".. The board is responsible for insuring that all university resources and assets are managed properly. We are charged with impartially defending university assets, prudently investing its resources ,thoroughly accounting for its expenditures and refraining from the very appearance of profiting from its business. This report seeks to satisfy ( in my opinion) the expressed individual and collective duties of an appointed trustee with regards to maintaining supervision , management and control of Alabama A&M University . We have reviewed contracts ( all that were provided to us) that were executed during the last eight months Sept, 2009- May 2010. We will present the facts as we have found them and as it relates to the expenditure of funds using professional contracts as the method to execute the contract. In our examination of contracts we have identified the following: (1) Person Requesting Contract (2) Person Receiving Contract (3) Statement of Work SOW (4) Total Cost of Contract/Excluding Expenses (5) Expenses (5) Total Contract. and (6) Funding Source.

Finding of Facts
1. On September 11, 2009 Kevin Rolle, Chief of Staff requested and approved a $5000
Consultant Services Contract ( excluding expenses) for Mr. Robert M. Nance from Orangeburg , SC. This actions was not approved by the board - fee was paid from Title III Funds. Encl#1 2.On September 11, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of Staff approved a $17,175 (excluding expenses) Consultant Services Contract for Mr. Michael Jones from New Orleans, LA. This actions was not approved by the board . Fees were paid on Oct 19, 2010 from Title III funds . Encl#2 3. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $15,000 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Wesley Peachtree Group. Purpose of Consultant's visit : Comprehensive Assessment of the University's Student Financial Aid Office. . Dates of consultant's visit Oct 5-7, 2010. This actions was not approved by the board. Encl#3 4 On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,226 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Dr. Vann NewKirk - Fort Valley State University. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#4

5. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,226 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Dr. Daniel L. Howard - Shaw University. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#5

6. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,226 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Dr. Patricia Pierce Ramsey Bowie State University. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#6

7. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,226 consulting Services Contracts (excluding expenses) for Dr. Marvin Yates - Southeastern Louisiana University. This action was not approved by the board.. Encl#7 8.. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,226 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Dr. Mary E.Cheesboro - Retired

Associate Vice President for Faculty and Programs/Academic Affairs- Orangeburg, SC. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#8

9. On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $3,119 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Dr. Shereitte Stokes III Tennessee State University. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#9 10. On October 9, 2009Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $6534.55 relocation expense ( excluding other expenses i.e. travel, lodging, food, etc) for Kevin Rolle to be moved from two (2) locations: Gaffney, SC and Spartanburg, SC to Madison , Alabama. The scheduled move date was October 27, 2009. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#10

11. On Feb 22, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted a letter addressing scope of services to be provided in the financial aid office. Donald Murphy, CEO & Managing Associate for Wesley Peachtree estimated the cost to complete work in dealing issues in financial aid to range from $39,800 (3 weeks work) to $53,000 ( based on 4 weeks work). There were no other companies letters presented to me detailing their fees for the scope of work described by Wesley Peachtree. Encl#11

12. On March 8, , 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted a letter addressing scope of services related to providing temporary technical support in the Business office by serving in a temporary capacity as vice President for Finance. Donald Murphy, CEO and Managing Associate for Wesley Peachtree. The budgeted amount requested by Wesley Peachtree was $3,800 per week which would be invoiced in bi-weekly intervals. ( excluding expenses). This action was not approved by the board. There were no other companies letters presented to me detailing their fees for the scope of work described by Wesley Peachtree.. Encl#12

13. On March 24, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted a letter addressing scope of services related to providing temporary technical support in the Business office specifically in grants and

contracts accounting.. Services scheduled to commence during the week of March 29, 2010 and continue until notified by the university. Donald Murphy, CEO and Managing Associate for Wesley Peachtree. The budgeted amount t requested by Wesley Peachtree was $85 per hour which would be due upon presentation of invoice. ( excluding expenses). This action was not approved by the board. There were no other companies letters presented to me detailing their fees for the scope of work described by Wesley Peachtree. Encl#13

14. On April 12, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted Invoice # 11633-4 for professional services rendered for the period March 15, 2010 through May 7, 2010 described as "Billing in connection with overtime fee in connection with services of the Vice President of Finance support.. D. Alexander (79.5hrs @ $95 hr) Total amount due $7,552.50. This action was not approved by the board. Encl#14

15. On May 11, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted Invoice # 11663-2 for professional services rendered for the period April 17, 2010 - May 14, 2010 through May 8, 2010 described as "Billing in connection with Weekly rate as per agreement for Interim Vice President Finance Support (April 17, 2010 - May 14, 2010 ) D. Alexander (4 wks @ $ 3,800 = $15, 200)- Expenses Transportation $2,121- Lodging $1,416.54- Sustenance$ 330 Total= 3,867.54 -- Total owed for period (weekly rate + Expenses ) = $19, 067.54 This action was not approved by the board. Encl#15

16. On May 11, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted Invoice # 11663-1 for professional services rendered for the period April 17, 2010 - April 25, 2010 described as "Billing in connection with support in Student Financial Aid Office - Total Hours = 65 - Total Paid = $8, 560- Expenses Transportation $2,424.96- Lodging $1,480.49- Sustenance$217.55 Total expenses= $4123-Total owed for period ( Hourly rate + Expenses ) = $12,683 . This action was not approved by the board. This action was not approved by the board. . Encl#16

17.. On May 11, 2010 Wesley Peachtree submitted Invoice # 11663-3 for professional services rendered for the period April 16, 2010 - April 25, 2010 described as "Billing in connection with Accounting support in grants and contracts J. Means (51.4 hrs@ $85= $4,369- Expenses Transportation $2,642.58- Lodging $493.03- Sustenance$ 582.38 Total= 3,717.99 -- Total owed for period (Hourly rate + Expenses ) = $8,086.99 This action was not approved by the board. . Encl#17

Discussion and Analysis
FACT #1:

On September 11, 2009 Kevin Rolle, Chief of Staff requested and approved a $5000 Consultant Services Contract ( excluding expenses) for Mr. Robert M. Nance from Orangeburg , SC. This actions was not approved by the board - fee was paid from Title III Funds. Discussion: The purpose of Mr. Nance's visit was to brief the Alabama A&M university faculty and staff on the American Recovery and Reinvestment act (ARRA). Specifically the consultant was expected to give an hour long briefing on the ARRA package and explain the law and regulations that cover the ACT. Additional details were to be given on how the funds should be used and reporting requirements. Following the hourly long briefing ,faculty and staff could ask questions. We were unable to determine the total cost of Mr. Nance's trip since we were not provided with the cost of travel and any other additional expenses. Information regarding the American Recovery y Act and its applicability to state institutions could have been provided by State Agencies serving as repositories of information being sent from federal agencies. Additionally the state dispatched teams of state employees who were knowledgeable about the recovery and its applicability to various state agencies. These individuals would not have cost the university money but would have been providing the information as a service to the State . I did not see any evidence to suggest the administration requested any assistance from the state regarding providing information sessions to university faculty and staff on the various aspects of the ARRA. We believe this consulting fee could have been avoided if the board had been engaged and asked to assist in finding cost free information. Title 3 funds were used to defray the cost of this expense. . Normally title 3 funds are used based on a predetermined plan by the university that has to be submitted to the Department of Education for approval. In order for title 3 funds to be used for an expenditure that was not included in the original plan the university would have to request approval to amend the plan to cover additional initiatives. Of course any change in the title 3 plan would have to be approved by the board or at least the board would have to know that some deviation or change in t he original plan was being requested. It is not clear if an addendum to the original plan was submitted. If an addendum to the original plan was submitted the board was never told.

FACT# 2. On September 11, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of Staff approved a $17,175 (excluding expenses) Consultant Services Contract for Mr. Michael Jones from New Orleans, LA. This actions was not approved by the board . Fees were paid on Oct 19, 2010 from Title III funds Discussion: This professional services contract was approved by Kevin role for the assessment of Business and finance Office , September - October 2009.m It appears that most of the items shown on Invoice #-0003 in the amount of $17,175 reference reviewed, discussions and interviews. Some of the efforts listed seem to duplicate work being performed by other individuals or offices at the university. For example work related to banner was already being handled by an internal and external consultant. Additionally reference to review and final edit to the president's response to SACS had already been accomplished the by Vice-President for Business and finance and the University Provost. We were not presented with any information to confirm the preparation of any reports from this company. FACTS # 3 On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $15,000 consulting Services Contract (excluding expenses) for Wesley Peachtree Group. Purpose of Consultant's visit : Comprehensive Assessment of the University's Student Financial Aid Office. . Dates of consultant's visit Oct 5-7, 2010. This actions was not approved by the board. Discussion: This consultant services contract was request by Kevin Rolle and approved by Dr. Andrew Hugine. We were not presented with any information to confirm the preparation of a report resulting from this company's work. $15,000 seems extremely excessive for two days of work for two (2) consultants. FACTS# 4-9. Discussion: On October 8, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved the hiring of six consultants at a cost of $19, 338who accomplished work from Oct 5-7 2010. The consultant services contracts do not identify why they were hired or the expected outcome of their visit.

FACTS# 10

On October 9, 2009 Kevin Rolle Chief of staff requested and Dr. Andrew Hugine approved a $6534.55 relocation expense ( excluding other expenses i.e. travel, lodging, food, etc) for Kevin Rolle to be moved from two (2) locations: Gaffney, SC and Spartanburg, SC to Madison , Alabama. The scheduled move date was October 27, 2009. This action was not approved by the board. Discussion: Upon review of the university's policy regarding relocation expenses it is expressly stated that the university does not pay relocation expenses; however in cases where there have been relocation expenses paid the board was appraised of the amount prior to any reimbursement. We also examined the invoice submitted by Two Men and a Truck and the direct pay form request submitted by Kevin Rolle to receive reimbursement for moving expenses for move from Orangeburg, SC to Huntsville, AL. Mr. Rolle has refused to provide a copy of the American Express receipt resulting from the payment of his moving expenses as indicated on the invoice from Two Men and a truck. Further Mr. Rolle has not provided documentation for other expenses for which he was paid while relocating from Orangeburg, SC. Mr. Rolle indicated on his request reimbursement that he was moving from Orangeburg, SC to Huntsville, AL ; however , the invoice from Two Men and a Truck shows that Mr. Rolle FACT# 11-17 Discussion: From Oct 2009 to May 2010 Wesley Peachtree has billed Alabama A&M University by month as Follows : Oct 5-7 Nov 24 Feb 22 $15000 .00 Comprehensive Assessment of the University's Student Financial Aid $24241.92 ?????????????????? $39,800 ????????????????????

April 12 $7552.50 Billing in connection with overtime fee (Dane Alexander). We did not see overtime pay covered in the Wesley Peachtree's March 8, 2010 letter to Kevin Rolle outlining scope of services and other terms and conditions. The Alabama A&M Board of Trustees did not approve allowing overtime pay for any contracts.

May 11 $19067.49 Weekly rate as per agreement for Interim Vice President Finance (includes expenses) May 11 $12683.00 Support in Student Financial Aid Office May 11 $8086.99 Accounting support in grants and contracts

Total Billed As of May 11, 2010: $107,384.08

Note: The total billed amount is an estimate since we may not have all of the billed expenses or other actual invoices. Note: The total billed does not take into consideration that other professional contracts may exist for which we are not aware.

Conclusion
As the state of Alabama continues to experience budget deficits and proration remains operative from one budget year to the next it is imperative that we who are charged with watching over the university's resources are kept informed and fully briefed regarding planned and actual expenditures. This report is replete with examples of expenditures that are small and great but they all share a similar refrain " they were not approved by the board." It is hardly an infringement on the separation of administration and board of trustees as some have asserted ( from a governance perspective) when legitimate and caring inquires are made in an effort to control spending especially since all of us should be working toward the same goal - to do more with less. It is clear that some of the decisions made regarding the hiring of consultants , and the paying of exorbitant fees to analysts were made with haste, without consultation and without the advise and consent of the body that is appointed to help make those decisions - The Alabama A&M University Trustee Board. Does it take six or seven consultants from five or six different colleges and universities to suggest or recommend a model of change? or, Does not Alabama A&M University have a cadre of graduated professionals sprinkled throughout everywhere that could and would ( if asked) lend their knowledge skills and abilities, ( without pay) to suggest new patterns of excellence in organizational structure, inform us how to take advantage of Recovery Funds, and suggests to us new models and paradigms in finance and accounting? It raises suspicions when consultants are hired with fast paced regularity and are given permanent salaries in part-time positions. Some would argue that a board of trustees should allow an administration to develop a budget and spend it as it sees fit and yet isn't that precisely what this board has done and isn't that what has caused us to be here with "out of control "spending? Now the tide must turn and the overzealous spending that you see in this report must stop and this board must require clear and easy to understand justifications before any funds are expended in the future. And, we must traverse a little farther by serving notice to those who would bend the rules, those who would attempt to circumvent policies, and those who would make up new rules and regulations to satisfy their own felonious desires, that we will be perched on the mount with clear vision and good intentions watching over our beloved Alabama A&M University.

Recommendations
The following Recommendations are made:  That, a permanent board level Contract Review Committee with a permanent chair position be appointed to oversee Contracts. The Committee would develop the guidelines for which contracts would be reviewed prior to an award. That, the President Pro Tempore appoint a committee to obtain more details on the awarding of contracts to several of the companies listed in this report and to provide the board with an explanation on what was the value added to the university by employing the consulting company. That, selected contracts based on an internal review be referred to the Alabama Department of Public Accounts or the Alabama Attorney General's Office for review. That, President Andrew Hugine provide the board with a list of all consulting contracts that have been signed since he was selected as president and provide a monthly list each month for any additional contacts that are signed. That, President Andrew Hugine provide a current list of all funds paid to all professional consulting companies to include a separate report showing expenses paid to date . That, Alabama A&M Board of Trustees Clarify its position on relocation expenses and establish a policy that will be applied to all employees relocating to Alabama A&M.

 

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful