June 22, 2009
Dear K-State Alumni and Friends,
There is an old adage that "there is no such thing as bad publicity." If you have been reading the newspapers over the last week, we believe that you would probably agree that K-State has certainly had its share of bad publicity recently. Due to the recent turn of events surrounding the release of the transition audit by the Kansas Board of Regents we thought it would be prudent to provide you with the perspective from the president's office and the athletic department. We also want you to be aware that a similar message has also been shared with the K-State faculty and staff.
We strongly support the decision by the Kansas Board of Regents to release the audit to the general public. We do not believe that we can address the myriad of issues raised in the audit if the K-State family continues to believe there are other issues surrounding poor financial decisions, which have not been brought forward.
Investigation is continuing on many of the issues raised in the audit. We hope we have identified all of the major concerns that need to be confronted; however, since we just received the report, it is still being reviewed and analyzed.
It will be critical that we put appropriate checks and balances into place so that the problematic financial transactions identified in the audit cannot be repeated by the new K-State administration.
Both of us have emphasized accountability and transparency over the last couple of months and will continue to carry this message forward to the K-State family. Whenever we spend our valuable resources, we should always ask ourselves "If I were paying for this out of my personal checkbook, would I be willing to do this?"
If the answer is no, then it is probably not a good idea. However, actions always speak louder than words, and the way K-State conducts its operations must reflect a new way of managing our financial operations. As we look toward the future, we are optimistic that the actions of the new central administration will demonstrate transparency, accountability and trust as we move forward.
So, what steps are we going to take? The Kansas Board of Regents has asked us to report back to them by Oct. 1 with a report on the issues identified in the audit. First, we will be holding a joint campus forum next week, visiting with various campus leadership groups and of course being as accessible to hear the concerns of our alumni and friends as possible.
Second, following these meetings, the president will convene a campus working group to assist in addressing the concerns identified in the audit and to identify appropriate steps to be taken to ensure that many of these issues do not come up again.
Third, we will continue to carry the message of accountability and transparency to the K-State family at speaking events, in interviews with the mainstream media and in personal meetings with our major donors and supporters.
In the coming weeks the athletics department will be announcing a series of accountability measures as part of a very specific effort to regain the trust of our alumni, donors and fans.
This past year was an outstanding one for K-State across the board. Our externally-funded research is at an all time high, our students continue to excel at national competitions, our athletic teams have performed extremely well, and we have a new leadership team in place.
Finally, for over 20 years Kansas State University has been blessed with the service, loyalty and leadership of Bill Snyder. Of course, as K-State's most prominent figure, the mentions of Coach Snyder in the audit document have been disproportionately covered in the media and are therefore painful for him and his family.
In our opinion there are no grounds to even begin to insinuate that Coach Snyder has ever benefited improperly from his relationship with K-State. To the contrary we know of no other coach in America who has served his institution more selflessly and with greater dedication and loyalty than Bill Snyder. Over his 20-year relationship with K-State it is our impression that Coach Snyder has always put the interest of the institution first. We are very excited about his return to the sidelines and look forward to joining the entire K-State family in welcoming him back on September 5th.
Your input and support is more important than ever. Please continue to send your thoughts, concerns and suggestions. The future is bright for our university, and we will move beyond the current issues which are being covered in the mainstream media.
Thank you very much for your continued interest and support of Kansas State University!
Director of Athletics