Faculty tax fraud still being investigated
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 17:10
Friday afternoon Faculty Senate discussed placing a limit on total credit hours given to faculty at a 75 percent discount for undergraduate courses and a 50 percent discount for graduate courses.
“Almost every university has a limit on those hours they will allow you to get a discount on,” Randy Kesselring, professor of economics, said. “I think it’s a pretty good idea if we do something like that, too.”
Kesselring also mentioned the amount of fees A-State adds in to tuition, and said many other universities do not add such a large amount.
“Our fees exceed a third, I think, of the total tuition,” he said. “When we say we don’t raise tuition, we institute a new fee or increase in a fee. That’s essentially the same thing.”
He said while he supports putting a limit on hours faculty members can take, he does want the university to be cognizant of those fees.
Kesselring addressed the senate about limiting the hours, asking if the university wanted someone to take unlimited hours but not finish a degree.
Some have consistently taken classes, running more than 200 hours of courses but not seeking a degree.
“If you’re taking a class and not seeking a degree, that counts against (the university),” Lynita Cooksey, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. “It negatively impacts the economic aspect of the university.”
Some members of the senate were not on board with the possible limitation of hours
“Are we not an institution that values education for education’s sake?” asked Joanna Grymes, representing the department of teacher education.
John Hall, professor of psychology and counseling, said he wanted Kesselring to bring the issue back to Faculty Senate before anything was set in stone.
Lori Winn, director of human resources, updated the senate on the IRS tax fraud that occurred last semester.
“The IRS would not work with us directly in regards to employee issues,” Winn said. “The concerns that I’m hearing right now, I still have a number of individuals who have not received their 2012 refunds.”
Winn said she is working to get the remaining refunds processed.
She added she has asked the IRS what process will need to be followed when filing for 2013 taxes, such as employees filing electronically or on paper.
“(There’s) a lot of unanswered questions we’re trying to get as we move closer to the end of the year,” she said.
Winn said the university and IRS were still not close to finding out who the perpetrators of the tax fraud were.
She also said she doesn’t expect the IRS to monitor the 2013 tax refunds.
The number of affected A-State employees was close to 242.
Last year employees received letters from the IRS indicating someone had fraudulently obtained their personal information to file tax returns.
Faculty Senate also discussed sponsoring a form of faculty recognition for those who have served at A-State for a significant amount of time.
“It was really Lynita who’s been a big advocate of this,” Hall said.
Julie Isaacson briefly discussed an executive council meeting that proposed a plan to have designated bike lanes on campus and uniformed benches.
The executive council discussed constructing more bike racks and also re-tileing the walkways on campus in a checkered pattern in order for people to play gargantuan chess.
“I just mentioned these things in case you all have interest,” Isaacson said.
The university also rejected revisions that the faculty senate made for a university discrimination policy.