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Department History

Office of Internal Audit



Establishment of WSU Internal Audit

Walter Williams served as WSU’s first Director of Internal Audit from December 1, 1975 until his premature death on March 24, 1990. Craig Hutton, Internal Auditor at Northern Arizona University, was hired to succeed Mr. Williams. Mr. Hutton served from September 10, 1990 to January 4, 1991, before returning to Northern Arizona University. Chris Cavanaugh, Assistant Vice President for Internal Audit at Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, was subsequently hired and began his tenure as Director of Internal Audit on June 3, 1991.

Toward the end of his tenure as audit director, Mr. Williams successfully secured funding for an internal auditor staff position beginning August 2, 1989. Internal Audit has retained the two-position configuration (a director and a staff auditor) from that date forward. 

Adoption of Kansas Board of Regents Internal Audit Function Policy

To reflect its enhanced interest in internal auditing, the Kansas Board of Regents adopted an Internal Audit Function Policy effective October 17, 1996. The policy specifies that each state university shall have an internal audit function and provides a framework for implementation. Though each of the six state universities has considerable latitude in how it administers its internal audit function, the Board for the first time clearly expressed its expectations for the function:

  • Each state university shall have an internal audit function (not all did).
  • The internal auditor shall report directly to the university’s chief executive officer.
  • Each state university shall develop and maintain an internal audit plan.
  • Any finding of material financial weakness or fraud shall be reported directly to the Board President.

Subsequent Revisions to the Internal Audit Function Policy

The Board revised its Internal Audit Function Policy effective April 15, 2010 to specify that “each state university internal audit department shall report annually to the Board’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and Audit, summarizing the prior year’s activities and plans for the coming year.” These written summary reports are due to the Board office by January 1 each year. Though not specified by the policy, this reporting also includes making a trip to the Board’s office in Topeka for a meeting with the Fiscal Affairs and Audit Committee each spring beginning in 2011.

The Board again revised its Internal Audit Function Policy effective October 18, 2012 to specify that “each state university shall notify the Board’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and Audit in writing of any personnel change in the position of university internal auditor.” This revision reflects the Board’s continuing interest in the activities of the internal audit function at the state universities. 

Internal Audit Reporting Relationships

WSU is one of six state universities governed by the Board. As explained above, the Board has an interest in the internal audit activities at each of the universities, but the internal audit function’s direct reporting line is to the chief executive officer of each university as specified by the Board’s Internal Audit Function Policy.

In the fall of 2007, long-time Vice President for Administration and Finance Roger Lowe announced his impending retirement. From the time Mr. Williams was first hired, the Director of Internal Audit had an administrative reporting line to Mr. Lowe. Though no concerns had been expressed about Internal Audit’s independence or objectivity, then-President Donald Beggs changed Internal Audit's administrative reporting line to Vice President and General Counsel Ted Ayres to further enhance the reality and perception of independence and objectivity (while retaining Internal Audit’s direct reporting line to the President). The Internal Audit to General Counsel administrative reporting line took effect November 1, 2007 and was unique among the state universities in Kansas. When Mr. Ayres retired June 30, 2015, the separate administrative reporting line was discontinued.

Quality Assurance Review

WSU Internal Audit completed its first Quality Assurance Review self-assessment in February 2013. A Quality Assurance Review can be likened to accreditation for an academic program or college. Betsy Bowers, Associate Vice President for Internal Auditing and Management Consulting at the University of West Florida and Mark Eisenman, Internal Audit Manager at Boise State University, reviewed and validated our self-assessment report and related materials. Ms. Bowers and Mr. Eisenman found that WSU Internal Audit conforms to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and, accordingly, conferred the IIA’s top rating. WSU is the only institution among the state universities in Kansas to undergo and complete a Quality Assurance Review.

Wichita State University
Office of Internal Audit
Campus Box 115
Wichita, Kansas 67260-0115