A group of senior faculty members at the City College of New York in Harlem have launched an inquiry into the handling of a recent $500,000 donation they believe may have been used improperly.
The inquiry was launched when a group of department leaders discovered that a university account — the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Fund for the Arts — had a balance of just $76, reported the New York Times. According to the Times the account should have contained more than $600,000 due to a June donation of $500,000 to the fund.
“We are deeply concerned about the practical, ethical and legal implications of the situation,” the department leaders wrote in a letter to the school administration, as reported by the Times. “Funds dedicated to a certain purpose in a binding legal agreement between the college and the donor have been removed for purposes unknown to us, and we believe, to the donor.”
Money donated to the fund is supposed to help finance academic programs in the humanities and arts, but the faculty members are concerned it may have gone to alleviating the university’s budget deficit, the Times reported.
“During the past year, the fund was used to support more than 100 adjunct professors and lecturers in the Division of Humanities and Arts to ensure that students have access to courses they need to successfully pursue their programs of study. Humanities and arts faculty will be meeting this week to review funding priorities for the coming year,”
Deidra Hill, a university spokeswoman told the Times in a statement.