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American Indian Center clarification

By Glenn Johnson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 1, 2000
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To the editor,

The January 26, 2000 article regarding the American Indian Graduate Center contained a serious error. Generally, the article was balanced and well-written. The error was the implication that the mismanagement of the American Indian Graduate Center donor accounts, Mitchell Emergency Fund and American Indian Scholarship Fund Gift accounts (two seperate account numbers) were the responsibility of the AIGC itself. What the article failed to clarify was that as a unit of the Graduate College all of the AIGC's accounts were under the direct fiscal control and responsibility of the Graduate College: 1) depositing donations; 2) approving and processing disbursement of funds requests; and 3) requesting, receiving and monitoring FRS reports. As director of the AIGC, my role was one of fundraiser for those donor account and I had recommendation authority to request awards to students; I never had authority to make deposits or authorize any transactions involving those accounts and was not given FRS reports on the donor accounts.

The honest mistake that anyone could have made that I spoke of was the Graduate College's accidentally depositing in 1996 a $5,000 donation to the Mitchell Emergency Fund into, apparently, an account at the College of Education. Although the Mitchell account was in and out of deficit over the next two years, the Graduate College had not discovered that the $5,000 donation had been misdeposited. Apparently, during those two years when it was in deficit (because of the missing $5,000) to cover Mitchell Emergency fund requests, funds were taken from the American Indian Scholarship Fund (AISF) gift account and vice a versa when the AISF gift account was in deficit.

Glenn Johnson

Director, American Indian Graduate Center

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