FAIRBORN — A non-profit created by Wright State University may have broken state laws regarding land acquisition.
According to a report by the Ohio Inspector General Office, Double Bowler — a 501 (C) (3) — circumvented WSU’s obligation to seek Ohio Controlling Board approval authorization by purchasing properties which would later be utilized by WSU. The properties in question include the National Center for Medical Readiness or Calamityville, farmland surround the WSU Lake Campus in Celina, blighted properties on Grime Street in downtown Dayton as well as others located on Presidential Drive and Executive Park Drive.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, state-funded universities may not purchase real estate without approval by the Controlling Board Manual. State-funded universities are also not permitted to have an “agent” — in this case, Double Bowler — act on its behalf in regards to real estate purchases without Controlling Board approval, nor may it not partner with non-profit organizations to lease out properties for educational purposes without approval by the Ohio Department of Higher Education chancellor.
“Investigators concluded that Wright State University, through its agent Double Bowler, improperly acquired various properties for Wright State University’s use in a manner to avoid public scrutiny and transparency,” the report said.
The matter has been referred to the Ohio Auditor of State Office as well as the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
The Office of the Ohio Inspector General recommended that the institution “implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the various purchasing and capital project rules and regulations as issued by the Ohio Controlling Board and those contained in the Ohio Revised Coad and Administrative Code.”
It also recommended that Wright State create and implement a training program to guarentee that all employees involved in real estate aquisition are informed of requirements of real estate purchasing as required by the Ohio Controlling Board and contained in the Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Code.
The Office of the Ohio Inspector General also asked the president of Wright State to respond to the report within 60 days with a plan concerning how the recommendations will be implemented.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.