Audit: UNCG administrators violated travel policies

Posted by Jane Stancill on June 5, 2014 

UNC Greensboro’s senior administrators violated state and university policy when they spent $456,644 in travel from 2011 to 2013, without seeking proper approval and authorization for the trips, a state audit showed.

The findings were released Thursday by State Auditor Beth Wood, whose report said the practice of UNCG administrators not obtaining advance approval for travel went back to 1996. The audit was prompted by a tip through the State Auditor’s hotline.

Senior administrators who exempted themselves from state and university policies included the chancellor, provost, associate provosts and directors reporting to the provost.

“The lack of advance authorization and approval of travel expenses for senior administrators decreased the University’s ability to monitor and control travel expenditures and increased the risk of fraud, waste, or abuse of university resources,” the audit said.

A former UNCG chancellor, the late Patricia Sullivan, approved a memo in 1996 saying travel requests for senior administrators would not require advance authorization from supervisors, the audit said. Later, in a 2008 memo, an associate vice chancellor for finance wrote that senior level administrators at UNCG were “masters of their domains” and had total authority in their areas, the audit said.

There were procedures for review of travel by senior leaders, but those checks did not determine whether travel was necessary or met a university need, the audit said.

The audit recommended that all senior administrators require written authorization of travel expenses from their supervisors. A two-sentence letter from current UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady said the university accepted and had already implemented the auditor’s recommendations.

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