TV2: KSU Board of Trustees to investigate donation policy

Jasen Sokol

KentWired Video

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The Cope Court controversy raised questions about the university’s fundraising procedures. Now change could be on the way.

The University is reviewing its procedures for how it raises moneey. Several high-level officials have commented over the last two days.

“Today, we did discuss at the board meeting that a full review of all of our processes of gift acceptance policies is being considered,” President Lester Lefton said.

Kent State President Lester Lefton spoke about the review in response to a question about Jason Cope, the KSU alum who nearly had the MAC Center basketball court named after him, but called off his million dollar donation after a Daily Kent Stater investigation revealed a run in with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lefton had no further comment on the Cope matter, but Board of Trustees Chairwoman Jacqueline Woods said she told the external relations and development committee that the University’s policies need to work for everyone.

“Why don’t you go back and look at our policies around development and make sure that they meet the needs today of the school – therefore the trustees and getting information, the donors and what their privacy requirements are. Also, that we’re fulfilling any legal obligations like IRS,” Woods said.

Doug Brown broke the story for the Daily Kent Stater. He said he’s surprised that the University is calling for a review.

“The whole time it’s followed standard procedure, standard process and that they’ve done nothing wrong. But it doesn’t make sense that they would change something that they don’t feel is wrong,” Brown said.

In an emailed statement, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Gene Finn said, “The review is being conducted in the context of the close of the Centennial Campaign, which is July 1. That is common practice for all universities ending a major campaign and has no relation to any other issues. The review will be finished in early summer.”

But the timing of the announcement raises questions about the reason of the review.

Contact Jasen Sokol at [email protected].