Fired California University President Defends School's Practices

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fired California University of Pennsylvania president Angelo Armenti Jr., in an undated written statement, defended himself against what he called the "most damaging of the false allegations" presented in an audit critical of the school's financial practices.

Mr. Armenti has not publicly commented on the results of the 25-page report released by state officials on Thursday -- one day after his firing. State officials have not said whether the audit and the firing were related.

The audit, spurred by a series of anonymous complaints sent to the State System of Higher Education, called into question several university expenditures, including debt acquired during the construction of a new $59 million convocation center. It also questioned whether the university and the Foundation for California University were as separate as state law requires and whether net profits from housing facilities were being improperly transferred to the school's fundraising foundation.

In a written statement provided Friday to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by a university source, Mr. Armenti attempted to rebut two of what he called the "rather serious errors of fact, analysis and conclusion" contained in the report.

Auditors preparing the report found that California University development employees, who are paid with university funds, solicited donations for the Foundation for California University and prepared or sent out contribution acknowledgements and tax information.

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