ECU dean resigns after critical state audit

Posted August 16, 2011

— The dean of East Carolina University's new School of Dental Medicine resigned Tuesday, hours after a state audit questioned his travel expenses.

Dr. James Hupp will remain on the ECU faculty, Chancellor Steve Ballard said in a statement, and an interim dean will be named as soon as possible.

Hupp was hired in 2008 to launch the dental school, and the first 52 students started classes this month.

A state audit released Tuesday morning called for the university to tighten up its financial controls after paying for extensive travel by dental school officials with little or no documentation to support it.

The audit cited trips by Hupp to Kiawah Island, S.C., Destin, Fla., Germany and Switzerland. The overseas trips had questionable value for ECU, auditors said, while the trip to South Carolina included no itinerary or other records to back up the reimbursement and the Florida trip included "significant changes" after the travel was approved.

In addition to the audit's findings, Ballard said, Hupp failed to comply with reporting requirements for income he received from a part-time teaching assignment at another university and from serving as the editor of a scholarly journal.

"We absolutely must address these reporting issues," Ballard said in a statement. "While we do that, the mission, the facilities, and the plans for the School of Dental Medicine are all intact and robust, and the school remains one of our proudest and most important initiatives."

Hupp told the chancellor that he didn't want to become a distraction as the dental school gets off the ground, Ballard said.


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  • davidmbatten Aug 17, 2011

    It is amazing that the graft and corruption I saw in Texas Higher Educational institutions (UTEP in El Paso) exists here in North Carolina. After living in El Paso for three years, you sort of expect things like this to come up considering the 'border mentality', but here?
    This is shameful.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 17, 2011

    One more example of why our taxes are too high.

    Eliminate spending and fat in government and taxes will go down significantly.

  • Wendellcatlover Aug 17, 2011

    Show me some receipts or meeting agendas that prove these trips were for the betterment of the school. Otherwise, pay the money back and vacation on your own dime!!!

  • bobbyj Aug 17, 2011

    As a 6 year resident, my question is why isn't the person or persons that approved these trips also in hot water.

    Try it like the private sector. Here is your budget any trips that include over night stay must be apporved by panel that meets once a month so get your trip scheduled early. There is really no good golf on KI either.... WOW.

  • Palidog Aug 16, 2011

    Another crook in the UNC system, getting rich off the taxpayer dime. The whole system is corrupt. Why is this guy is still employed by the state?

  • james27613 Aug 16, 2011

    Make him pay all the funds back if the trips were not education related.

  • james27613 Aug 16, 2011

    Will Dr. Hupp take a sabbatical in order to prepare for the classroom like others have done at NCSU ?

  • grnpnd7 Aug 16, 2011

    Come on now, Germany, Switzerland? Business trip; I think not..

  • monkeyboy Aug 16, 2011

    "Interesting, WRAL reports a story and the N&O attempts to stir a scandal. The difference between a news outlet and a tabloid." - disgusted2010

    heh. if that's your standard and wral falls on the 'news outlet' side of your judgement, you must be new here. stick around for awhile, you'll see...

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 16, 2011

    Another fine job by our state auditor group. Keep up the good work and get rid of the waste and abuse.