University Affairs

Actions Taken to Address Problems in Custom Fit Program at USU Eastern

USU is confident in the action it has taken to hold employees accountable for failing to perform their required duties and failing to comply with USU policies. When issues of noncompliance arise, our system depends on employees reporting issues of concern so they can be properly investigated and addressed. In this case, our system worked, and our grant programs and employee management are stronger as a result. We want to reassure all employees that they should not be afraid to report anything they think is wrong.

Below are steps taken by the university on the Custom Fit matter:

  • After receiving a report in summer 2023 raising concerns about financial management and employment issues in the Custom Fit program, the university started an internal audit and HR review.
    • Individuals raised concerns about Tyler Agner’s absenteeism initially in summer 2022, however, Agner was then on job-protected leave.
  • The audit report on this matter was delivered to university administrators on April 25, 2024 and the HR report was delivered to university administrators on January 9, 2024.
  • The university took immediate action once the HR review was complete, including terminating Tyler Agner’s employment, stripping Jaime Cano of his administrative duties, taking corrective action with Agner’s supervisor, and refunding the two state grant programs.
    • As a tenured faculty member, changes to Cano’s employment would have had to follow USU Policy 407, and Cano resigned before this process could be done.
    • USU employees, like all state employees, are not “at-will,” and employment decisions must be preceded by a review to determine if there is cause. This can sometimes take time in order for it to be thorough.
  • Anyone (public, staff, faculty, student) can report any concern with the university through EthicsPoint, which is received by the Ethics and Compliance in the Office of General Counsel. Concerns can be reported anonymously, and USU policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports concerns or misconduct.
  • A communications campaign to make all university constituencies more aware of EthicsPoint and other reporting options has been developed and is planned for delivery across all campuses at the start of the fall semester.
  • Starting this summer, a review of the entire Statewide Enterprise at USU will be conducted. Included in this review are possible improvements to employee oversight, best management practices of the Custom Fit program and other funded programs, and above all how best to serve our students across Utah.

CONTACT

Amanda DeRito
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications
435-797-2759
Amanda.derito@usu.edu



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