Hardin’s expense account 

Hardin's expense account

It came as something of a surprise when the University of Central Arkansas reported in a state Higher Education Department pay survey that President Lu Hardin's benefits included a $57,000 annual expense account financed by the UCA Foundation.

A Freedom of Information Act request for records of that spending turned up some other surprises.

The expense account is worth far more than $57,000 a year. Also, there are some differences in the amount Hardin reportedly has been reimbursed by the Foundation and the amounts he's reported to the state on his annual financial disclosure statement.

According to the Foundation's records, Hardin was reimbursed $64,326 in fiscal 2006, which ended June 30, 2006; $61,525 in 2007, and $70,348 in 2008, the fiscal year just ended.

The Foundation is continuing to dig up records of the specific expenditures and has promised to provide them to the Times. So far it has only provided spending in broad categories for the president's expenses. For 2007-08: Donations, $10,783; sponsorships, $10,300; campus/president's home furnishings, $763; awards, $200; flowers, $4,651; printing, $3,536; gifts for UCA guests and constituents (ranging from $6 to $175), $5,914; half the cost of 14 golf memberships for athletics, $6,599; meals for President Hardin and guests, $2,714; meals for employees/groups/receptions, $3,247; event deposit, $1,658; luncheon/banquet tickets, $600; Reynolds tickets for UCA guests and constituents, $1,935; team entry fees — golf, $3,065; travel — President and Mrs. Hardin, $4,186; charter plane for Ruston game, $3,351; travel for speakers, $524; deposit on art for constituent gifts, $2,100; miscellaneous, $4,222.


Reporting differences

University presidents are among the public officials who must file an annual statement of financial disclosure with the secretary of state. These statements include all sources of income, including disclosure of expenditures of more than $150 for officially-related food, lodging and travel. Those statements are filed on a calendar year basis, covering Jan. 1-Dec. 31. Hardin's statement for 2005 disclosed $12,504 in such expenses; $8,388 in 2006, and $3,878 in calendar 2007.

Some of the expenses reimbursed by the Foundation seem clearly to be for purposes other than food, lodging and travel. Nonetheless, it would appear that Hardin received reimbursements in excess of the amounts he reported to the state for those purposes. For example, Hardin's itemized expense disclosures to the state reported $1,444 in food, travel and lodging in fiscal 2007 (July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007). The Foundation records show he was paid $8,830 in that same time period for travel and meals. Without itemization, it is impossible to say if the preponderance of that spending was in amounts less than $150 and thus not among expenses required to be reported to the secretary of state.

The Times received the documents Tuesday. Hardin was out of the office that day for eye surgery and unavailable for comment.


The Times reported last December on a lawsuit on behalf of a Eureka Springs seventh-grader, Bobby Conway, who was denied a spot on the middle school basketball team because his hair was too long. Baker sued, arguing that it was unconstitutional to establish a rule on boy's hair when there was no limit on the length of girl basketball players' hair. The School Board and superintendent Reck Wallis backed the coach.

All's well that ends well.

The Harrison Daily Times reported last week that the hair rule had been dropped along with Conway's lawsuit. The school superintendent retired in February, coincidentally. In an order dismissing the case, Special Circuit Judge John Lineberger wrote that the school had assured Conway's parents that he wouldn't be barred from sports because of his hairstyle.





Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Leslie Rutledge, the absent attorney general

    Arkansas loses out to Trump love, Obama hate.
  • Left and right against Issue 3

    Also, Huck spinning on Trump, not in our backyard and more.
  • Trump country

    Even in deep red Arkansas, Trump could damage some down-ballot Republicans — but will boost others.
  • Moving

    The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.
  • Thanks!

    In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation