Southern Illinois University

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Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Disbursements Office. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Disbursements Office.

Historical Note:

The Disbursements Office at Southern Illinois University Carbondale was created in October 1963, the result of an external audit.  It was created in an attempt to avoid fraud in the Purchasing Office; the auditors were concerned about the fact that Purchasing issued purchase orders and approved vouchers for payment, a situation in which they saw potential for fraud.  Additionally, General Accounting controlled the posting of the expenditure, the writing of the check, and the disbursement of the check, all of which violated good internal control in the eyes of university officials.

The purpose of the Disbursements Office was to exert internal control over the expenditure of funds through a review of the expenditure in relation to Illinois statutes and university regulations, to facilitate the process of expenditures of university funds, to review each transaction prior to payment, and to sign and distribute university checks.  Specific disbursement activities included: payments for purchases of services, commodities and equipment; payments for inter-departmental purchases or charges, payrolls, and cash transfers between university accounts; payments of scholarships, loans, stipends, and special allowances; reimbursement of travel expenses; and provide information concerning university check signatures, overpayments and duplicate payments, and inquiries concerning payments.

The Disbursements Office reported to the Business Office which reported to the Vice President of Business Affairs.  In 1966, Business Affairs was reorganized into 2 divisions: Business Affairs – Services Division and Business Affairs – Fiscal Division, and Disbursements reported to the latter.  The function of Disbursements then fell under the Office of the Controller, which was created in 1969 but remained vacant until the first Controller was appointed in October 1971.  By 1999, the office had become Disbursements & The International Tax Office with Mike Heath as director.  No Disbursements Office exists as of 2016 and it is unclear when and how the functions were reorganized into the existing SIU Carbondale financial structure and workflow.


"Disbursements Index," Disbursements Office records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"Policy Correspondence," Disbursements Office records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Note Author: Matt Gorzalski

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