JEFFERSON CITY — State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced Thursday that the state will implement two new audits to state-funded universities, including one that will examine the University of Missouri System's administration.

One audit will examine the spending policies put in place by the UM System president and the Board of Curators, according to a news release. The other will review college affordability. The new audits are part of an ongoing effort to audit higher education, Galloway said. Two other audits of Missouri higher education are in progress.

Galloway emphasized that the audit is not targeting MU specifically and was not proposed based on a singular event at MU.

"We keep current events and what we see in the news in consideration," she said. "It's not one singular thing, but a collection of reports and instances that we take into consideration."

The audit of college affordability will review state universities' adherence to the Higher Education Student Funding Act, according to the news release. Universities' tuition is determined by each college's governing board, and the act limits how much tuition may be raised based on inflation. The audit will study Missouri's 13 four-year universities, according to the news release.

Audits of universities hold them accountable, Galloway said.

"We fund these universities and colleges," she said. "With those contributions come responsibilities."

Two audits of higher education in Missouri began last year and are still in progress, Galloway said. One is reviewing how funding is distributed to universities. Currently, colleges receive funding based on graduation rates and student advancement, among other factors. The other audit is reviewing the Missouri Department of Higher Education, including its compliance with the law and managing practices, according to the news release.

Galloway said the two audits that began in 2015 will be completed this year. A time frame for completing the two new audits, including the audit of the UM System, has not been determined yet, she said.

"We are fair and thorough, and there's no rush to judgment," she said. "A rush to judgment is not the sign of a strong leader or auditor."

Supervising editor is Gary Castor.

  • Ellen is an assistant city editor for spring 2017. She has reported on the Missouri General Assembly and Columbia city government for the Missourian. Reach her at: eccg25@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at (573) 882-5720

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