Education

Ex-fundraiser reimburses UNC for travel expenses

Posted October 23, 2012

— A former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill administrator said Tuesday that he has reimbursed the school for more than $16,000 in personal expenses found during an audit of his travel and spending.

Matt Kupec resigned last month as vice chancellor for advancement amid an internal review of his travel.

Chancellor Holden Thorp said at the time that some of Kupec's fundraising trips appeared "personally driven" and noted that Tami Hansbrough, the mother of former UNC All-America basketball player Tyler Hansbrough, accompanied him on many of the trips.

Tami Hansbrough resigned as a major gifts officer at UNC-CH two days after Kupec stepped down. Sources have told WRAL News that the pair are dating.

"I am very sorry for my lapse in judgment, and I apologize to Chancellor Thorp, the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and all members of the Carolina family," Kupec said in a statement.

The UNC-CH Foundation had paid for the trips, and Kupec said he had reimbursed the university $16,579 for personal expenses he racked up on the trips.

"Tami Hansbrough was unaware that the charges had not been reimbursed to the university," he said.

A UNC internal audit completed Tuesday identified $16,973.10 in unallowable charges between September 2009 and May 2012, according to a UNC-CH spokeswoman.

Of that amount, $15,767 was for 14 trips and expenses for air travel, transportation, parking, lodging and meals. In addition, there were about $1,135 in charges for various meals not tied to a business purpose and $71 in online purchases.

Matt Kupec Ex-fundraiser reimburses UNC for travel expenses

Through her attorney, Tami Hansbrough released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying she is "happy that the truth has finally come out" and that she was forced to resign.

"I did nothing wrong in any way while working for the University of North Carolina," she said. "Every effort I took for the university advanced its reputation and fundraising."

University officials previously said Kupec and Tami Hansbrough traveled together 28 times between 2010 and this year. Destinations included New York, Dallas, Atlanta, San Diego and college towns like Charlottesville, Va., Louisville, Ky., and Morgantown, W.Va.

Auditors were concerned that some of the trips corresponded to dates and locations where Tyler Hansbrough or his brother might have had basketball games. Tyler Hansbrough now plays professionally with the Indiana Pacers, while his brother played for Notre Dame in 2010-11.

A week after Kupec and Tami Hansbrough resigned, Thorp said he would step down as UNC-CH chancellor at the end of the 2012-13 school year. He said the stress from athletic, academic and administrative scandals over the past two years had taken a toll on him and his family.

45 Comments

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  • Southern Girl Oct 24, 2:13 p.m.

    Superman, I was going to post what you did, but you said it perfectly. Stealing is stealing, and it should be prosecuted, but I'll just bet it is swept right under that HUGE rug at UNC.

  • westernwake1 Oct 24, 12:43 p.m.

    Does UNC Chapel Hill have a single shred of integrity left?

  • CamelWolfCat Oct 24, 12:34 p.m.

    Smells like falling on one's sword in a desperate attempt to protect the Holy Grail. There's been a lot of obfuscation going on at UNC-CH for the past three years (well, in reality, since 1888) about the sanctity and purity of the athletic programs--but anything that even hints that there might be improprities with connections to the untouchable basketball program evidently leads to an old football player taking the hit (not that he doesn't deserve it). As Kenneth Burke rightly said, we all need a scapegoat. SMH but loving every minute of the pretentious, pompous emperor without clothes circling the drain.

  • superman Oct 24, 11:18 a.m.

    As a matter of proper accounting--no person should be able to approve their own travel and submit it for payment. How many people do you think are able to get away with that. I can answer that--anyone at UNC under Mr. Thorpe. Mr. Thorpe needs to do the right thing and turn this over to the DA for criminal action.

  • Kaitlyn Oct 24, 11:04 a.m.

    Isn't it considered perjury when you sign an expense form knowing the information you are providing is a lie?

    This is a criminal matter and should not be left up to the university to decide the issue is over.

  • pinball wizard Oct 24, 10:37 a.m.

    Why does a players mom have a job with the university to begin with?

  • pipcolt Oct 24, 9:07 a.m.

    Must be nice to have a free charge card to use from 2009 to 2012 and rack up over $16,000 on it and only have to pay back just the amount used without interest.

  • Honesty first Oct 24, 9:07 a.m.

    I can see the opportunity that would exist to have a fundraiser host wealthy alumni at away games in order to gain additional contributions. This is not the problem. The question is what did UNC pay for that was not part of the fundraising. Why did Tami go with Matt on so many trips? Is she the only person that could be available or was it just too convenient to take such a close "friend" along?

  • shortcake53 Oct 24, 8:44 a.m.

    If everyone who was bilking the college paid them back maybe they could lower tuition for the students.

  • JohnnyVoodoo Oct 23, 7:15 p.m.

    I like that part where Kupec says..."I am very sorry for my lapse in judgement". ...that was hilarious.

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