Audit recommends on-site monitoring of NC community college
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An audit recommends that North Carolina’s top community college officials consider on-site monitoring of a school whose leaders are described as being “uncooperative, belligerent and argumentative” during an investigation.
The investigation by the state auditor’s office used those words to describe the attitude of some board members at Roanoke-Chowan Community College during a second exit conference in November.
The State Board of Community Colleges and the North Carolina Community College System office should consider on-site monitoring to determine if the board’s involvement in daily operations is excessive, says the audit, which was released Monday. The school, which has about 2,000 students, has had four presidents in five years, and the nearly all of the employees in the business office have held their positions for less than a year, the audit says.
“The concern regarding the board’s over-reach resulted from former presidents and current and former employees expressing concern about the college’s turnover ...,” the audit reads.
While investigators “could not substantiate the allegation that the board’s involvement in the college’s daily operations was excessive and over-reaching, it should be reiterated that the allegation was not proven to be untrue,” the audit reads.
In his response, school President Stanley Elliott takes note of the investigators’ failure to substantiate a link between the turnover and the board’s involvement or even that the board is excessively involved in daily operations.
“The governing board has a clear and appropriate distinction between its role as the policy-making function of the board and the responsibility of the administration and faculty to administer and implement policy,” he writes.
Elliott’s first day as president was Oct. 2. He wrote that he learned of the audit a week later.
The audit began because the brother of the board’s chair is employed as the college’s plant operations foreman and acting director of facilities and maintenance, which the audit says could violate the accreditation principles of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It then evolved into an audit of school sponsorships, finding that balances reflected about $62,000 in unbilled sponsorship receivables.
Elliott said the board’s chair recused himself from all personnel deliberations concerning his brother and that the brother no longer holds the interim director’s position. He also said the college has taken actions to keep better track of sponsorship billings.
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