Kansas State University

K-State AD Gene Taylor oversaw Iowa department criticized in recent audit

Gene Taylor, the new athletic director at Kansas State University, takes questions after being officially introduced by University President Richard Myers. (April 17, 2017)
Gene Taylor, the new athletic director at Kansas State University, takes questions after being officially introduced by University President Richard Myers. (April 17, 2017)

A recent audit of the Iowa athletic department revealed that administrators, including new Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor, failed to adequately monitor information technology purchases, which led to wasteful spending and created risk of equipment theft, according to an Associated Press story Thursday.

The audit found missing iPads, unnecessary travel and improper credit card purchases. In one year, IT expenses increased by 43 percent. That department’s director, Patrick Delin, left his job in February as auditors were close to concluding the audit, according to the AP.

Taylor began work as K-State’s athletic director on May 1. He came to K-State from Iowa, where he served as assistant athletic director. Part of his job description included overseeing the athletic department’s IT department. That specific role has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

Last week, a jury awarded $1.4 million in damages for discrimination, unequal pay and retaliation to former Iowa athletic administrator Jane Meyer, whom Taylor was hired to replace.

At trial, university lawyers argued that Taylor was paid $70,000 more than Meyer because his job included overseeing the IT department.

The AP reported that the 10-page audit was unknown to Meyer’s lawyers, who successfully argued she was doing similar or more work than Taylor for less pay.

“It turns out the one extra area they claimed Taylor was doing was being handled incredibly poorly,” Meyer attorney Tom Newkirk told the AP. “We’re very disturbed that the university didn’t produce this report prior to trial.”

The audit was most critical of Delin, the department’s former IT director. It pointed out wasted spending in several forms, including five football players not being charged for missing school-issued iPads and an employee making personal purchases on a department credit card. It also accused Delin of circumventing spending control guidelines by using a subordinate’s credit card when his neared its monthly limit.

Delin left his job Feb. 2. Iowa described the departure as a confidential personnel matter. The report said supervisory reviews of the IT department’s travel were ineffective.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

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