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May 19, 2015

Syracuse U. Takes Trust to Court Over Spending of Bequest

Syracuse University has filed suit for information on how the trust of a late professor has used up two-thirds of a $2.8 million bequest to the school, The Post-Standard writes.

The bequest from longtime Syracuse faculty member William Fleming, who died in 2001, was intended to partially cover the salaries of three fine-arts professorships for 20 years. According to court papers, the William Fleming Educationa; Trust's two trustees told the university last year that the fund had dwindled to $963,000 and that from this school year it would support only one of the faculty posts.

The university said it has received "limited disclosure" of the trust's investments and expenditures but not written financial reports or annual statements on commissions paid to trustees Frank Macomber and Paul Curtin. Mr. Macomber told the newspaper that the trust "gave [the university] everything they asked for" and denied any misspending of the bequest. "The money ran out," he said. "We're dealing with it."