The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education revealed that an audit shows California University of Pennsylvania inappropriately used university employees to raise money for its private foundation and improperly diverted nearly $6 million to the same nonprofit.
The audit led to the firing of university President Angelo Armenti, who led the institution for nearly 20 years. Armenti says the audit findings are "baseless" and "unfounded."
Chief among the audit’s findings: The university improperly used more than $1 million in rent money from students in residence halls that went to the landlord, Student Association Inc., which in turn gave the money directly to the foundation rather than to the university.
In response, Armenti argued that rental payments are "institutional funds" rather than state or public money. They do not become "public" until they are deposited into a university account, he said.
"At no time during the audit process were we ever shown any of the complaints that ostensibly prompted the audit," Armenti wrote in a response to the charges. "The false accusations of fraud and money laundering are so incendiary that we would certainly have rebutted them—and clearly remembered doing so—had they in fact been mentioned at the exit interview, thereby giving us early opportunity to respond.”