A headline in some editions yesterday incorrectly suggested that 15 members of the University of the District of Columbia board of trustees participated in a vote of confidence for President Robert L. Green. Of the seven members of the executive committee eligible to vote, three voted in favor of the vote of confidence, two opposed the vote, one abstained and one trustee was absent.
The University of the District of Columbia trustees' vote of confidence for President Robert L. Green Tuesday night was based on official votes of support by three of the 15 trustees and came after Green threatened to resign if the board did not support him, according to several members present.
Their version of the tense four-hour closed meeting differed sharply from that of board of trustees Chairman Ronald H. Brown, who told reporters afterward that the trustees had found no evidence of misconduct by Green and had reaffirmed their support for Green.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the UDC president confirmed that Green hired a relative by marriage two times in 1984 as a consultant to the university and paid him $1,136 in fees and travel expenses. The relative, Arthur Dudley of East Lansing, Mich., was described by Green in a report to the trustees as a specialist in vocational rehabilitation and community outreach who was hired to strengthen UDC's community services programs.
Green's use of university funds to hire outside consultants, many of whom are his former associates from Michigan State University, and to pay for travel and entertainment was questioned by D.C. Auditor Otis H. Troupe in a draft audit.
Although 12 trustees attended the closed meeting to review Green's expenditures, only members of the board's executive committee were allowed to vote on whether to adopt a report prepared by a private accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand, that concluded Green had not acted dishonestly in billing a host of expenses to his discretionary account.
Of the seven members of the executive committee, three voted to issue a statement supporting Green, two voted against it, one abstained and one was absent, according to four trustees who refused to be identified.
Chairman Brown, who read the statement to reporters after the meeting but refused to answer questions, denied yesterday that there had been divided votes over the board's action.
"My clear impression is that on everything we did last night there was a very strong consensus," Brown said. "There were disagreements and differences of opinion along the way, but when it came to what we would do, there was strong consensus."
Brown said all of the formal votes came after lengthy discussion by all of the trustees present.
However, several trustees said yesterday they were concerned that the official board statement read by Brown left the erroneous impression that the board had exonerated Green.
"What the chairman led the world to believe was a total endorsement of Green," said one trustee. "That may end up being what we do, but it wasn't what we did [at Tuesday's meeting]."
Another trustee said that the statement "gives the impression of full confidence in the president, which is not accurate."
In another action, the board voted 6 to 5 to nominate trustee Herbert O. Reid Sr. to replace Brown as chairman when elections are held in September.
Brown's term expired last year but he has stayed on until his replacement on the board has been appointed.
Trustee N. Joyce Payne, who received five votes from the nominating committee, is expected to be nominated from the floor this fall.
Reid, who is legal counsel to Mayor Marion Barry, helped organize a defense for Green prior to Green's appearance before the board Tuesday night.
The trustees took no action on a separate 45-page report by Green that responds to press accounts and assertions by Troupe that of $33,128 spent from Green's representation fund, some $14,600 was spent improperly.
Five trustees said they felt Green's report lacked documentation and could not be accepted by the board until Green had provided more evidence to support his case. The president's office had promised to make available documents for the board members to review, but several trustees said they had not received any records by late yesterday afternoon.
The board hired Coopers & Lybrand to get an independent review of Troupe's draft audit of the president's representation fund, a $15,000 annual account used to cover expenses connected with Green's official duties.
A copy of the 16-page Coopers & Lybrand report, obtained yesterday by The Washington Post, includes a letter from Brown that states that Green had repaid $2,332 to his representation fund for personal items that should not have been charged to UDC.
According to the report, those included $459 for flowers, $328 for a briefcase, $350 in campaign contributions to D.C. Council candidates, $112 in travel expenses, $413 for food items and another $670 for items not identified by Troupe.
The Coopers & Lybrand report said Green's payment of $3,619 from his representation fund for consultants should have been charged to the university's post-secondary education account.
The report, which said hiring outside consultants does not violate university guidelines, does not attempt to measure the quality of the consultants' work.
Troupe, who has declined to comment on audits in progress, is currently preparing additional reviews of Green's expenditures. The university has refused Troupe's request for records of expenditures from the post-secondary education ccount, which is funded with fees and gifts donated to the university.
The Washington Post, under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act, requested in April records of expenditures from the representation fund and the post-secondary account, but university officials have refused to release them.
The Post last month sued UDC seeking release of the documents.
Several trustees said yesterday that one area of special concern is Green's use of consultants, many of whom are his former colleagues from Michigan State University, where Green was a dean before coming to UDC.
Green said in his report that he sought their expertise in the early stages of his tenure as president and had hoped to woo five of them to jobs at UDC.
Asserting that the hiring of consultants "is a widely utilized practice for incoming college and university presidents," Green described the work of each and answered some of the charges made by Troupe.
Dudley, Green's relative, received $626 in consulting fees last year for work on May 25 and Nov. 14 and was also reimbursed $510 for his air fare. Green's report said Dudley "was engaged to consult on methods and strategies to strengthen the university's community services programs."
Coopers & Lybrand's report said Dudley produced a written report and advised Green during their meetings in Washington.
A spokesman for Green said yesterday that Green felt "there is nothing in the university guidelines" that prohibits the president from hiring someone he is related to by marriage, provided the person is competent.
He did not directly respond to Troupe's allegation that the university failed to produce evidence that any work had been done by five of the consultants.
Green asserted that he was following university guidelines when he paid for the consultants out of the president's representation fund, a point disputed by both Troupe and Coopers & Lybrand.
Green also answered questions raised by Troupe about work performed by John Liskey, a Lansing, Mich., lawyer who was listed as the resident agent for Green's own consulting firm, R.L. Green and Associates.
Green said Liskey did not receive a consulting fee but was reimbursed $586 out of Green's representation fund for travel expenses related to a trip to the District in which the two men discussed setting up a satellite communications network based at UDC.
"At no time has Mr. Liskey or any other consultant received any UDC funds for any activity connectd with R.L. Green and Associates, as suggested in the draft audit and media," Green said in his report.
Green conceded that UDC procurement policies were violated when former associates Maxie C. Jackson Jr. and W. Louis Stone received consulting contracts that were not subject to competitive bidding.
Jackson, now UDC's $71,000-a-year provost, is on leave from the Michigan State faculty for one year. Stone earns $61,000 a year as a UDC vice president. Together, the two men earned a total of $28,984 in university contracts.
Also mentioned in Green's accounting is Angela Braithwaite, a consultant described as a doctoral candidate at Michigan State. Braithwaite was employed by Green to perform research for Green's forthcoming book, "Metropolitan Desegregation."
According to the university president, Braithwaite worked for seven days in August 1984 and received $525.
"It should be noted," Green said in his report to the trustees, "that I have dedicated the royalties from the book to the UDC scholarship fund."