UCA in Trouble Again

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - The University of Central Arkansas has been borrowing money for the last two years without state approval, ArkansasBusiness.com reported Friday.

Jim Purcell, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, said UCA officials told him this summer the school had a line of credit with a bank but had not used it, according to the newspaper's Web site.

Purcell said he told UCA officials that state law requires the university to get approval from the Higher Education Department and the Department of Finance & Administration before UCA could use the money. But within the past two weeks, Purcell said, his department has learned that UCA has been using the line of credit for two years.

"I think they definitely weren't wanting to tell anyone," Purcell said.

Friday, the UCA Board of Trustees voted to request lines of credit worth more than $9 million from the state departments of Higher Education and Finance & Administration.

The incident follows another controversy this summer in which the school and outgoing president Lu Hardin came under fire for alleged secret bonus payments to Hardin.  Hardin eventually announced plans to resign his position with the school.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)