Morehouse College has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the National Aeronautics and Space Administion and the National Science Foundation (NSF), after a federal investigation revealed that the school had misused funds provided by several grants that were awarded to the school to promote enrollment in scientific fields of study.
The investigation, which was handled by the United States Attorney’s Office, NASA Office of Inspector General and the NSF Office of Inspector General, revealed that a former Morehouse employee in charge of the grants had expended some of the funds for purposes not permitted by the grants. A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office did not detail how the funds had been misused.
In addition to paying $1.2 million back to NASA and the NSF, Morehouse has agreed to implement a compliance program designed to regulate and oversee that funds awarded by NASA and the NSF are properly used.
The compliance program will require Morehouse administration to create a separate governing body appointed by the Morehouse President to ensure compliance with federal regulations of the grants. The compliance program will complete independent audits and submit annual reports over the next five years to NASA and the NSF.
In the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the agreement, “This settlement reflects the joint efforts of the United States Attorney's Office, NASA, NSF and Morehouse to resolve problems with misuse of federal grant funds by a former Morehouse employee. When funds are misused by individuals administering a grant, students – who are the intended beneficiaries – are among the real victims.”
The grants administered to Morehouse were intended to encourage students to participate in scientific, engineering, technological and mathematical fields of study.