ECU dental school dean resigns

Staff writerAugust 16, 2011 

Dr. James Hupp

ECU

Dr. James Hupp, dean of the new dental school at East Carolina University, has resigned following a state audit about improper travel expenses and an internal investigation that uncovered outside compensation that he had not reported to ECU.

Hupp will no longer be dean, but he will remain on the faculty, the university said.

The audit, released today by the Office of the State Auditor, said there had been "extensive" travel by administrators during the startup for ECU's School of Dental Medicine, which opened to students on Monday. Questioned were trips to such locations as Kiawah Island, S.C., Destin, Fla. and international travel to Germany and Switzerland.

Hupp had taught at UNC-Chapel Hill and did not receive dual employment approval, as required by rules for the UNC system. Hupp also edited journals on maxillofacial surgery and did not report the outside income to the university, ECU said.

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard acknowledged that the timing was terrible.

"On the one hand, yes, this is a horrible way to start any school year," he said in an interview. "Nobody would want this to happen on the second day of a brand new school. On the other hand, nothing has changed on our educational plan. Our 52 students are really super, we've got excellent faculty that is already here, there are three associate deans who have excellent credentials. We don't like any time a leader has to resign, but nothing else has changed about our mission and about what we're trying to do with the school."

Ballard said he would name an interim dean in the coming days.

jane.stancill@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4559

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