Muse Resigns As ECU Chancellor
Posted September 12, 2003 1:40 a.m. EDT
GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina University Chancellor William Muse has submitted his resignation to the UNC Board of Governors.
Muse turned in his
resignation letter to UNC System President Molly Broad
Friday morning. The resignation will take effect at the end of the month.
The chancellor has been under fire after critical internal audits looking into misappropriation of funds.
Muse has been at ECU since 2001. In his letter of resignation, he cited health concerns as part of his reason for stepping down.
There has been no decision yet on his replacement.
The resignation came a day after ECU trustees held a closed-meeting to discuss Muse's performance as chancellor. Following the meeting, the trustees declined to dine with Muse.
The trustees met Thursday night at a Raleigh hotel to evaluate Muse's performance after two critical internal audits. The chancellor and his wife waited outside the meeting room with Leslie Winner, counsel for UNC system president Molly Broad.
Muse and his wife had planned to dine with the board members in the meeting room. But a hotel employee and a university administrator emerged about 45 minutes after the meeting began to tell the Muses the board would dine alone.
Muse and his wife then ate by themselves in their hotel room.
Muse later was summoned to the closed room and left about 11:15 p.m. The meeting ended at midnight, when trustees declined to comment.
The chancellor said he answered questions about the audits, which found misspending and administrative wrongdoing, and defended his actions. He said he had improved the university in academics and athletics.
"At this juncture, the other folks have to tell me whether that is sufficient," he said. "If it's not, they need to get somebody else to lead the institution."
He said that Tuesday he had discussed the audits with Broad, who oversees the state's public universities. She said Thursday night that she was awaiting a report from the trustees of the Greenville school.
The state has investigated both the housing and dining offices at the 22,000-student school.
An internal university audit of housing services, submitted to Muse in June, said the associate vice chancellor for student experiences embezzled money and made improper purchases.
The associate vice chancellor for student experiences, Emanuele Amaro, resigned in January and pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
Another internal audit report submitted to Muse in August examined a $4.6 million grant from the National Library of Medicine to the ECU Center for Health Sciences Communications. The center won the grant to develop and test telemedicine programs.
The audit found $396,672 of the grant was spent in unallowable ways, including for equipment, temporary wages, contracted services and salaries. It also said false time and effort reports were submitted.
Muse came to ECU two years ago from Auburn University, where he had been president nine years.