In 2005, Kevin Reilly was quoted by the Badger Herald after he testified before the Joint Legislative Audit Committee who was investigating"back up jobs." At the time, the UW system had a practice of granting administrative back-up positions and at least two of its employees remained on the payroll after being convicted of felonies.

Reilly stated: "When I took office a year ago, I pledged that the University of Wisconsin System would be transparent in all that it does and be diligent and accountable to our stakeholders." Reilly further stated: "I believe we need to act more expeditiously than we sometimes have in these cases. I believe we need to take actions that will restore the public’s confidence that their university system is open, accountable, and a wise steward of public resources." - Badger Herald, Wednesday, September, 14,2005.

In September 2009, after it was revealed that the company UW System picked to handle their payroll was reeling from an accounting scandal that the Securities and Exchange Commission had to investigate. Kevin Reilly’s spokesman stated to the Associated Press: that his team knew about the problems in early August, but waited to inform lawmakers until a day after the Associated Press inquired about the story. His spokesman claimed Reilly was privately negotiating contract safeguards to protect the UW System from any damage to the company. – Associated Press, September 9, 2009

In 2010, it was revealed that Kevin Reilly gave former DOA Secretary Michael Morgan a high-paying job without a search and screen committee, without considering any other candidates for the job, and giving Morgan a 79% raise and the same pay as the man who left who had 30 years of experience in education. In July of 2010, the Attorney General said the hiring violated the Board of Regents hiring policy. Reilly put Morgan in charge of the new payroll system…a system that would lead to more than $33 million in over payments. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 17, 2010

In 2012, after yet another audit was required of the UW System – this time over its relationship with WiscNet…the head of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association was appalled at the System’s shoddy record keeping, a disregard for state statutes, and irresponsible use of scarce taxpayer resources." Auditors had trouble getting to the root of the problem because "the lack of written agreements between the university and WiscNet." He called it institutional arrogance, "fast and loose" and wondered if it was on purpose that detailed records were not kept. – UW and WiscNet Audit Reveals Institutional Arrogance, Deceptive Accounting, Statutory Violations, Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, December 18, 2012.

Also in 2012, University of Wisconsin records show 60 employees exceeded statutory limits for extra academic pay in 2012, a Gannett Wisconsin Media review found. State statute limits full-time employees to $12,000 in extra pay annually, but records provided in response to a public records request showed educators in some cases pulled in more than $20,000. UW-Oshkosh posted the three highest extra pay totals and seven of the top 10. UW officials said,however, that inconsistent record-keeping skews some of the data. There was an effort to abide by the cap, as 90 UW employees received exactly $12,000 in overload payments. But in some cases officials say they knowingly exceeded the restriction. Across the 26-campus UW System, about 3,200 full-time employees received overload payments in 2012. The overloads averaged$4,000 and ranged from $20 to $23,000. –Appleton Post Crescent, April 22, 2012.

In January 2013, the audit committee voted unanimously to authorize and audit of the University of Wisconsin System’s payroll and benefits system – after more than $33 in over payments were discovered. The UW forced taxpayers to pay $17.5 million for the benefits of 900 people who no longer worked for the UW system.

UW System President Kevin Reilly says he’s "troubled" and "embarrassed" by the mishap and he is going to hire an independent auditor to figure out how millions of taxpayer dollars were misspent. An official statement from President Reilly stated "We will identify why and how these significant errors occurred…and we will make absolutely sure that similar errors do not happen again." - Wisconsin State Journal, January 11, 2013

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headline about the story the next month stated "University of Wisconsin System expecting fallout from overpayments" – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 12, 2013 After the University of Wisconsin System’s slush fund was exposed, System spokesman David Giroux stated: The System has always maintained a cash balance, Giroux added, and its finances have always been public as the Legislative Audit Bureau audits it yearly. – Wisconsin State Journal, April 19,2013

Monday UW changed their tune, when their spokesman admitted: We did not draw attention"to the reserves. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 22, 2013


Alberta Darling is the co-chair of the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance and represents the 8th State Senate District