Pa. auditor general takes closer look at Temple's tuition rates in performance audit

Steve Tawa
August 30, 2018 - 3:29 pm
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is examining Temple University's books for a performance audit, taking a close look at tuition rates in particular.

Steve Tawa | KYW Newsradio

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NORTH PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Just as he has with other state-related universities, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is examining Temple University's books for a performance audit, taking a close look at tuition rates in particular.

DePasquale pointed out that "Pennsylvania students currently have the highest college debt levels in the nation."

"Pitt is the most expensive public university in the country. Penn State is third," he said. "I want to make sure that we are getting the biggest bang for our buck with those tax dollars."

His audit team will review the accuracy of academic statistics, too.

"My first reaction when I saw my son's bill: 'Was that lira or pesos?' It was shocking," he recalled. "As a parent, you're looking at what's the academic reputation? How many kids get a job in their field?"

Another element of the audit will center on capital improvements, to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. For example, DePasquale will oppose any public funding for a potential stadium at Temple. 

"We would agree here at Temple University that taxpayer funds would not be put into a multi-purpose facility, if that project were to move forward," added Temple Chief Financial Officer Ken Kaiser.

Earlier this year, DePasquale endorsed the legislative effort in Harrisburg to improve transparency and accountability at Temple, Lincoln University, Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh. He noted they received hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds but were exempted from important transparency and accountability measures.

When DePasquale was a state lawmaker, he introduced bills that went nowhere on expanding reporting requirements for the four state-related universities.