Editorial: ASU financial issues

Editorial: ASU financial issues

Leaders at Albany State University have a lot of challenges to deal with as ASU and Darton State College consolidation.

The biggest may be a history of financial mismanagement at the school.

A recent update to a scathing audit from last year shows problems at the Office of Financial Aid that may have been worse than originally thought.

Auditors believe ASU handed out $2.5 million that students weren't eligible for in the last fiscal year.

The report does say new leadership in the office is working to fix the problems.

Auditors also say the athletic, housing and transportation departments routinely operated in deep deficits for years.

Students are now paying higher fees and housing costs to pull the departments out of that debt.

We asked University System leaders why they would take on a difficult consolidation process in the middle of trying to clean up a financial mess.

They told us previous consolidations made colleges more efficient, and they believe the Darton and ASU merger will lead to growth that will be good for the new university's finances.

We hope they're right, and we hope ASU leaders continue to focus on getting their financial house in order without getting distracted by consolidation.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.