An associate vice president at the University of Oklahoma (OU) resigned from his position after an audit found that he took a fleet vehicle home and used it for personal reasons, in violation of university policy and state law.
Jabar Shumate resigned in late July. The next day, he released a statement claiming that the university had plans to relocate his department and he was told to resign or be terminated. However an OU spokesperson told Tulsa World that Shumate was given this ultimatum after an audit found evidence of significant misuse of university assets.
The audit, obtained by News 9, notes that Shumate took the fleet vehicle assigned to his department home at night at least 124 times between July 2017 and March 2018 and drove the vehicle to visit his mother in Tulsa, 120 miles away from the university. In addition, Shumate used a fleet fuel card for non-gas items and claimed reimbursement while using the fleet vehicle.
OU’s acting vice president of public affairs told OUDaily that Shumate’s vehicle misuse was found after vehicle mileage was compared against departmental needs during a general review of all departments. The university’s director of parking and transportation agreed that Shumate’s misuse was substantial, but noted that departments are not asked to sign any documentation when they are assigned a vehicle. Instead, these policies are included in the staff handbook and available on the fleet website.