UNI Travel Abroad Program Being Audited

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The state auditor's office says money meant to help Iowa students study abroad instead paid for free meals, athletic tickets and other favors.

The report says Yana Cornish misspent thousands of dollars while she was the director of the University of Northern Iowa's Study Abroad Center from 2011 and 2014. I9 reached out but have not heard back from prosecutors on whether Cornish will face criminal charges.

I9 found a 2014 press release from the University of Georgia announcing the appointment of Yana Cornish as their new director of education abroad for their Office of International Education. Cornish was still listed Thursday on the University's site as holding the same position.

According to the Auditor's report they found nearly $7,000 in improper spending. Among the expenses include expensive meals and catering at eateries around Cedar Falls.The audit says Cornish also used University money to pay for her own daughter's Russian visa. Investigators note there could have been more money misused by Cornish but there was a lack of certain records. The University of Northern Iowa was able to identify just over $900 in misused funds, which they withheld from Cornish's final paycheck.

A spokesperson for the University of Georgia tells I9 they've "just received the report" and are in the process of reviewing it.

I9 also reached out to Cornish for comment but we have not heard back.