MONTGOMERY — The long-standing Alabama College System Foundation could disappear or evolve into an independent foundation if state education officials have their way.
At the behest of members of the State Board of Education, Chancellor Bradley Byrne is investigating the operation of the the foundation, which manages the endowment of a scholarship program for two-year college students, but which also reportedly paid for receptions to honor school board members and college employees.
Though there has been no implication of wrongdoing, those looking into the foundation’s activities have learned that for many years it operated with a board of directors that existed in name only.
People, including school board members, who have been named in IRS documents as directors of the foundation’s board repeatedly have denied any affiliation with, or knowledge of, the board or its actions.
Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Development Office, was listed as a board member in IRS filings for 1999 and 2000, but Wade said he never had been asked to serve on the foundation’s board.
Wade said the only reason he might be linked to the foundation is through his work with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, which he headed for the first 10 years of its existence. The partnership had its own foundation, he said.
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