University Officials to Discuss HDNS
Auditors to Reveal Findings on Financial Records
University officials will meet Thursday with University auditors who have been reviewing the financial records of Harvard Delivery News Service (HDNS) to discuss their findings and to set final details for the proposed takeover of the newspaper delivery service by Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), Martha Coburn, associate dean of the College said yesterday.
Dean Fox, Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, and Coburn will meet with the auditors to "get a sense of the underlying business" of HDNS and work out any obstacles which might hamper an HSA takeover, Coburn said. Also under discussion will be the use of College discretionary funds to aid HDNS and student organizations.
The internal audit of HDNS was commissioned by Dean Fox after he decided that Epps was too closely involved with the organization.
Last spring HDNS held $14,500 in unaccounted-for check stubs and Epps applied $2000 in College discretionary funds towards HDNS debts.
Epps said last year at the time the loan was made that the College would not give money to HDNS again.
Coburn, however, refused to rule out the possibility of the College giving more money to the service although she did say the College had decided not to put any more money into HDNS until the auditor's information had been studied.
Coburn said that her office began looking for alternatives to HDNS last November so that there would be a newspaper service option in case the auditors were to decide that its operations should not continue.
Both Coburn and Epps held several meetings with HSA officials to ascertain whether their organization would be interested in the newspaper delivery service.
Epps said that HSA approached him last January with a request to take over HDNS. He added that he declined to allow HSA to take over the service then because he felt it necessary for HDNS to take care of its financial problems before transferring service to another organization.
Epps said that he declined to allow HSA to take over the service then because he felt it necessary for HDNS to take care of its financial problems before transferring the service to another organization.
Approximately $7000 of the $14,500 in missing funds last year was allegedly embezzled by Martin Olive '78-4, manager of HDNS until last February.
Epps made an agreement last spring allowing Olive to make restitution payments for the money allegedly embezzled because he thought the former manager was "a drug user" and needed help. Olive recently paid back $5000 to HDNS.
Epps said that he expects HDNS to be about $2000 in debt when the time for the HSA takeover arrives in February. This part of the deal is still "under discussion" Epps said.
"We don't want to take the debt unless we get something in exchange" Blumberg said, adding that if "we're going to have to take a loss the first year" HSA might insist on some kind of compensation from the University.
In spite of its current financial position, Epps and Blumberg agree that the operation could be quite profitable. This potential for profit might induce HSA to take on the service with debt intact said Epps