In continuing to review the businesses practices in UNM Athletics, and to assure that it is operating efficiently and responsibly, I am taking immediate action to institute stronger internal controls and more thorough oversight of the department’s financial operations.
Effective today, a top administrator for main campus operations - Chris Vallejos, associate vice president for Institutional Support Services - will lead efforts to evaluate and improve the financial management of the Athletics department. He will work in partnership with Janice Ruggiero, acting director of Intercollegiate Athletics, who has been reviewing and updating the department’s operations since taking the position last month.
Part of this process includes reexamining all records of suites purchased for the Lobo men’s and women’s basketball seasons since the suites became available. This process has revealed inconsistencies in contracts, invoices and payments for certain suites, and we are in the process of contacting current and former suite holders to rectify our records and accounts. We will seek to collect on any past due amounts.
UNM Athletics has already updated its management of suite purchases and collections for this past season, which has resulted in more accurate accounting and more timely payments.
UNM is committed to transparency and fiduciary responsibility, and we take responsibility for the confusion that may have resulted from inconsistent business practices. To the extent that our efforts to rectify discrepancies have resulted in embarrassment to our fans, we sincerely apologize. Efforts are underway to make sure that this situation won’t be repeated.
UNM is cooperating fully and assisting with an audit of the Athletic Department’s finances currently underway by the State Auditor’s Office, and will continue to review and update our business practices going forward.