As the University of Arizona deals with a financial crisis and a $240 million deficit, reports say an audit of the athletic department will be released in the coming days, showing financial issues within athletics.

The school announced Monday that it is moving on from athletic director Dave Heeke, whose last day will be Feb. 2.

Former Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea will take over for Heeke as interim athletic director.

People close to the university tell KGUN that Heekes departure is tied to financial issues with the athletic department. It is the latest domino to fall, but more could be on the way.

Faculty senate members spoke with KGUN on Tuesday.

Our concern is that under his leadership there had been… conflict between the academic side of the university and the athletic side, said Ted Downing, a UArizona professor and former member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Downing says that conflict came from Heeke and Athletics not repaying tens of millions in loans from the university over the last few years.

To use a technical economic term, thats a deadbeat, Downing said. And were taking the hit, in terms of not getting raises and things like this. [Heeke] was partially responsible for what happened.

Downing says many faculty members are also supporters of Arizonas athletic teams.

Were in the stadium, and we know the students, he said. We want to see them succeed. Its nothing more exciting than to watch that scoreboard go in our favor. But it shouldnt be that we have to pay, not just the cost of admission, but also not see our raises in our salaries, because somebodys mismanaged the group.

Leila Hudson is chair of the faculty senate.

The departure of some of the actors who have been part of the drama up until now, has been I think long overdue, said Hudson, referring to Heeke as one of those actors.

Hudson says faculty members seem split: Some have little confidence in the future, while others hope changes like Heekes dismissal signal a turnaround is coming.

My greatest concern is that as we fix the problems, we dont act impulsively and cause new problems in our haste to suddenly address the situation thats been brewing for a number of years, said Hudson.

The crisis has grown under president Dr. Robert Robbins, whose future remains murky.

I think he is absolutely determined to use his authority to fix the situation, said Hudson. The question is: Can he do it, or is it too little too late?

The Arizona Board of Regents has a meeting scheduled for this Thursday.

Hudson says ABOR needs to listen to faculty, and the road back to greatness runs through the people of the university: the faculty, the staff, the students, the families and our campus community.

Listening to us, consulting with us and treating us like partners is the way out, and the way to prevent us from ever being in a situation like this again, she added.