6.8.12

THERE'S A LITTLE TIN BOX.

It's emptied to buy coffee, according to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.
A local scrap metal company employee says his business has paid thousands of dollars to Northern Illinois University employees selling scrap metal from the university, who then deposit the money in an account known as “the coffee fund.”

Bill Kunkel, head of transportation for DeKalb Iron and Metal Company in DeKalb, said that for years he’s been writing checks to what’s called the “coffee fund,” an account NIU spokesman Paul Palian said university officials weren’t aware existed.

Kunkel said several employees, mainly from NIU’s Physical Plant, have sold scrap metal from the university to DIMCO on and off for at least the past 25 years. The company’s electronic records date back to February 2005, and checks from [DeKalb Iron and Metal] since that time have totaled more than $13,000.
Senior administrators say there is no record of such a fund, but they are investigating.

There has been a consolidation of duties among vice-presidents.  The university uses the obligatory business jargon to explain why.
Eddie R. Williams, NIU executive vice president for business and finance and chief of operations, today announced administrative changes as part of a reorganization designed to take advantage of the leadership strengths and knowledge base of members of the administration in order to maintain and improve the quality of service delivered to the NIU community at the highest level.
Conspiracy buffs are asking questions about recent retirements in the maintenance departments.
Until last week, the Physical Plant was overseen by Robert Albanese, the former associate vice president in the Division of Finance and Facilities. Albanese retired last week for personal reasons, according to [university spokesman Paul] Palian.

Albanese could not be reached for comment.

In the same week, John Gordon, director of the Convocation Center, resigned for personal reasons, Palian said. The Convocation Center also is overseen by the Division of Finance and Facilities, but Palian has said the two departures are unrelated.

After those positions were vacated, NIU reorganized its Division of Finance and Facilities, effective Thursday. Jeffrey Daurer, who was director of the capital budget and planning, is now an associate vice president who oversees the Physical Plant, the Grounds Department and the Campus Heating Plant.
I can conjecture about material in the university's October ethics training.
Palian said the administrators he spoke with Friday had no knowledge of the coffee fund and that it was against the university’s code of ethics to use university vehicles for personal purposes. He said the coffee fund would likely prompt an internal investigation.
SECOND SECTION.  The ownership of the little tin key is a state secret.
The director of materials management at Northern Illinois University said the “coffee fund” where the proceeds from scrap metal salvaged from NIU-owned property has been around for 25 years, but he doesn’t know who uses the account.

Ken Pugh said he has never seen the coffee fund and does not know how much it contains, or at what bank the funds are deposited. He said he didn’t know who could make withdrawals from it or who’s authorized to use it.

NIU Record Control Supervisor Sue Zahm declined to comment Monday. A signature of the same name appeared on several canceled checks from the DeKalb Iron and Metal Company (DIMCO), written out to the coffee fund.

Zahm’s supervisor, Larry Murray, property control manager, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Pugh, who is Murray’s supervisor, said the coffee fund is still an NIU fund and to his knowledge is not split between employees.

He said he thought the funds eventually came back to the department.

Until he retired earlier this month, Robert Albanese was the associate vice president of the Division of Finance and Facilities, and oversaw the materials management department.

NIU spokesman Paul Palian has said Albanese left for personal reasons.

Albanese could not be reached for comment Monday.
Still developing.

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