As a result of findings from an ongoing investigation, Northern Illinois University is now able to confirm the existence of a private, non-university bank account named ‘coffee fund.’
The fund, which apparently has existed in some form for over 20 years at a local bank, had a balance of approximately $2,100 as of August 2012. The coffee fund bank account was not an authorized NIU account and has been closed with the remaining funds deposited in the university’s general fund.
Internal records indicate that the funds were not used for personal purpose or gain but were utilized for various departmental activities such as retirement celebrations, holiday events and similar activities. The university is examining whether the use of these funds in this manner is a violation of university policy and/or state law.
While this determination is being made, necessary administrative actions have been taken to assure the continuity of operations while the investigation is completed. These actions include placing four employees within the Materials Management Department on a maximum of 30 days paid administrative leave, staff reassignments and the empaneling of a policy review committee charged with reviewing and updating all procedures related to property control, cash receipts, recycling and the disposition of surplus materials.
The policy review committee is made up of:
- Steve Cunningham, Vice President for Administration
- Keith Jackson, NIU Controller
- Greg Brady, Deputy General Counsel for Administration
Following further results of the criminal investigation, the university will take appropriate administrative action. Any determination of criminal charges will be made by the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s office after reviewing the evidence collected during the criminal investigation.
The university will provide further updates as more information becomes available.