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WABE News

6:12 PM
MON MAY 7, 2012

Georgia Perimeter President Steps Down After


Auditors Uncover $16 Million Budget Shortfall
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BY JONATHAN SHAPIRO

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The president of Georgia Perimeter College has been forced to step aside after state officials
uncovered what they say is a staggering mismanagement of school funds.
No criminal activity is being reported for now, just gross mismanagement.
About $16 million is unaccounted for, according to Georgia's university system chancellor
Hank Huckaby.
I think it was just a matter of poor tracking of the budget process. The result of a number of
people not doing their jobs appropriately and thats unfortunate, but well be very surprised
if we find any indication of malfeasance or improper expenditures.
School President Anthony Tricoli, who had held the schools top job since 2006, has stepped
aside. The head of the schools financial office will go ahead with earlier plans to retire, and
another top financial officer has been put on administrative leave.
Tricoli will be shifted to an academic post within the university system. Huckaby says there
were extenuating circumstances that convinced state officials not to let him go completely.
Among them, what Huckaby called a lack of transparency by Georgia Perimeters financial
officials.
He is at the top and the buck stops there, but having said that, Im very supportive of the
many skills and attributes that Dr. Tricoli has.
Despite the unexpected budget shortfall, Huckaby says there will be no tuition increases
next year. However, an indefinite hiring and spending freeze has already gone into effect.
There will be budget reductions and a number of changes - many of which we dont know
exactly what theyre going to be yet - but it will be a challenging year next year, no question
about it, for Georgia Perimeter.
Huckaby says the board will shift funds to the school to cover spending for the rest of the
fiscal year. But he says Georgia Perimeter will be expected to repay the funds next year.
Meanwhile, Huckaby says auditors are investigating possible financial mismanagement in
previous years.

Unfortunately and sadly weve discovered this a growing pattern over the last couple to
three years. This is not the first year that they have run a deficit.
Georgia Perimeters vice president of academic affairs will serve as interim president until
the board can find a permanent replacement.
The school has grown significantly in the last five years and is now the states third largest
public college, with more than 26,000 total students.