Central State University and Bowling Green State University became the first two public universities to join the state treasurer’s checkbook website this week.
CSU’s online checkbook includes over 7,700 individual transactions representing more than $17 million in spending during fiscal year 2015, according to the treasurer’s office. Central State’s checkbook can be viewed on OhioCheckbook.com.
“Central State University is committed to transparency and we are pleased to be joining BGSU as the first two universities to place their spending on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Curtis Pettis, vice president for administration and finance at CSU. “We thank treasurer Mandel for the chance to make our spending information easily accessible, searchable and user friendly.”
Central State’s decision to put its finances on OhioCheckbook.com comes just after the school was recently removed from state fiscal watch in April. Miami University, Wright State University and Ohio University have all agreed to publish their finances on the website.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel made the announcement on Tuesday at the Inter-University Council offices in Columbus.
“I applaud these universities for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” Mandel said. “My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.”
Mandel is running for the Republican nomination for a U.S. senate seat currently held by Democrat Sherrod Brown. Over the last few months, Mandel has been criticized for spending $$1.84 in public money on TV ads just before announcing his senate bid.
BGSU president Mary Ellen Mazey also joined Pettis and Mandel in Columbus on Tuesday.
BGSU’s checkbook includes more than 27,00 transactions and over $39 million in spending, according to the treasurer’s office. Central Ohio Technical College’s finances were also added to the checkbook on this week, showing more than 36,00 transactions and over $23 million in spending from fiscal year 2016.
“Public Universities in Ohio support open access to public information for Ohio’s taxpayers,” said Bruce Johnson, President of the Inter-University Council. “We are pleased that Bowling Green, Central State and several other universities are making progress at getting their data online.