University vice provost denies misappropriating funds

The conduct of a former Portland State University vice provost was recently called into question after an recovery audit revealed irregularities between the travel expenses he claimed and the dates he was actually out of the country, according to The Oregonian.

Mike Burton, a former state legislator, claimed $4,500 in reimbursements for attending two conferences held in Paris, France. However, a cross-check of the dates of a trip he took to Europe revealed he had not yet arrived in the region when one of the conferences took place. No records were found that could prove the other conference – a three-day European Distance and E-Learning Network telecast to Paris from Budapest, Hungary – was even held, the news source reports.

When the discrepancies came to light, PSU officials threatened to place Burton on administrative leave. Instead, he elected to resign. He has since been asked to repay the money.

Additionally, an accounts payable audit of the extended studies program headed by Burton revealed insufficient record keeping procedures that may have disguised fund misappropriation.

Employees in financial management positions often alter or fail to fully report the movement of funds, underscoring the need for regular, independent AP audits to be conducted. 

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