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Message from the Chairman

As a public university, we live in a world of trust. We base our reputation on the trust that we will always act with integrity and in our students’ best interests, and that we will comply with the law.

As we respond to a breach of trust involving Trevor Colbourn Hall, our promise is that we will do so transparently.

We encourage you to regularly visit this website, which outlines what happened in more detail and the steps we are taking to ensure students are not impacted and to ensure this will never happen again.

You also can find information about how to contact the law firm conducting our external, independent investigation as well as UCF’s IntegrityLine, which is available 24 hours a day.

To ensure full transparency, we will share the results of the investigation with you.

Just as the true character of a person comes through in adversity, UCF’s true character of integrity will come through in this difficult situation.

Marcos Marchena, Chairman, UCF Board of Trustees

Independent Investigation

About Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is the external firm examining UCF’s process, procedures and personnel concerning how we finance facilities. The group is one of the top firms in the country specializing in corporate internal investigations. UCF does not have a previous relationship with the firm, allowing them to provide a “fresh set of eyes” on this important issue.

The external reviewers will work with the UCF Board of Trustees Audit and Compliance Committee along with our full Board of Trustees, the Auditor General’s Office and Board of Governors leadership.

How to Contact Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

If you have any information that may be pertinent to the review of the issues surrounding Trevor Colbourn Hall or other university facilities, please share it with the Bryan Cave law firm. You may contact Joey Burby at Joey.Burby@bclplaw.com or (404) 572-6815.

The INTEGRITYLINE allows you to report ethical concerns without the fear of retaliation — 24/7. Secure. Anonymous. Call toll-free 1-855-877-6049 or visit www.ucfintegrityline.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened?

  • UCF used incorrect funds for the construction of Trevor Colbourn Hall, which was originally approved in 2014.
  • The funding source, state Education & General dollars, cannot be used to pay for the construction of new buildings.
  • Trevor Colbourn Hall was built to replace aging Colbourn Hall, which is in poor condition. The new building houses 24 departments, including branches from the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Undergraduate Studies and Student Development and Enrollment Services.
  • In addition to the E&G dollars inappropriately used in Trevor Colbourn Hall, UCF has identified additional money that was inappropriately spent on construction projects during the past five years.

How was the mistake identified?

  • The issue was included in a Florida Auditor General preliminary finding, which was first discussed with the UCF administration in late August.
  • Since then, UCF has been working with the Auditor General’s office, the UCF Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors to address the issue.

How has UCF responded to the issue?

  • The UCF Board of Trustees has:
    • Launched an independent, external investigation into Trevor Colbourn Hall and related activity. The investigation will be led by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, one of the nation’s top law firms specializing in corporate internal investigations, and include UCF’s processes, delegations of authority, procedures and personnel.
    • Committed to sharing all information and activity with the Florida Board of Governors and fully cooperating with the Florida House of Representatives Public Integrity & Ethics Committee.
    • Required future Board of Trustees’ approvals of capital projects with a written certification by the president, vice president presenting the item, general counsel and chief financial officer identifying the source of funds and certifying that they are appropriate for that purpose.
    • Suspended temporarily the Performance Unit Program for the president and vice presidents until the investigation is resolved to the Board’s satisfaction, at President Whittaker’s request.
  • President Whittaker has:
    • Identified eligible funds to replenish the E&G dollars and transferred those funds quickly following the Board of Trustees’ approval to do so. UCF used sources such as university investment earnings and revenues from the bookstore contract and sale of surplus property. Students are not adversely affected by these financial moves.
    • Accepted the resignation of UCF’s Vice President for Administration and Finance and created a new chief financial officer position outside of the Administration and Finance division to ensure there is separate oversight of the construction facilities and how they are funded.
    • Instituted a moratorium on all new construction projects to be funded with at least $2 million of university funds. Vice presidents responsible for projects already under construction and funded by at least $2 million in university funds must contact interim CFO Kathy Mitchell to verify the funding sources for those projects are appropriate.

Did anyone gain personally from these actions, directly or indirectly?

  • UCF does not believe this to have occurred but will tirelessly investigate all possibilities.

What are next steps?

  • Law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is conducting its review of UCF’s process, procedures and personnel concerning how we finance facilities.
  • The external investigators will work with the UCF Board of Trustees’ Audit and Compliance Committee, along with our full Board of Trustees, the Auditor General’s Office and Board of Governors leadership.
  • Results of the review will help shape UCF’s next steps.

How will this issue affect me?

  • This is a difficult time for UCF, and some employees may be affected more than others.
  • Resources for employees are listed on this page.
  • Students will not be adversely affected by the transfer of appropriate non-E&G funding sources to impacted projects.

Employee Resources

Ombuds

The University Ombuds Office provides all members of the university community (students, staff, faculty, and others) an informal, independent, confidential, neutral office that offers assistance and impartial advice regarding concerns related to the University. The University Ombuds Officer will listen to concerns and will facilitate resolution of problems.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a university-funded benefit that offers the support and resources you need to address any personal challenges and/or concerns that may affect your personal well-being and/or work performance. It is confidential and free to all faculty and staff (excluding OPS employees) as well as their eligible family members, including spouses, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.

The INTEGRITYLINE allows you to report ethical concerns without the fear of retaliation — 24/7. Secure. Anonymous. Call toll-free 1-855-877-6049 or visit www.ucfintegrityline.com.