Local News

NCCU Administrator Should Be Fired, Some Students Say

Posted February 13, 2008 6:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 14, 2008 9:44 a.m. EST

— Some students at North Carolina Central University want to know why an administrator accused of embezzling money still has a job. Others warn against a rush to judgment.

Franklin Carver was stripped of his duties as assistant provost and associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, but retains his faculty position at NCCU.

A state audit, released Tuesday, said that Carver diverted federal research money to pay his credit card bills.

Some students told WRAL Wednesday that a person accused of misusing university funds should be off the payroll. The audit was front-page news on the campus newspaper and has students asking questions about the university's actions.

“Personally, I do think he should be fired and he should be terminated immediately,” NCCU student Geoffrey Cooper said.

A three-month investigation showed Carver authorized nine checks, totaling $36,041, between April 2003 and March 2004 to people who shouldn't have received any money. The money was taken from grants to the university from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Minority Biomedical Research Support and the Overcoming Racial Health Disparities programs.

Seven of the nine checks, totaling $15,341, were cashed, according to the audit. The other two checks were caught by internal financial controls and denied.

Investigators also reviewed Carver's university-issued credit card account and found various personal items charged to the card, in violation of university policy, according to the audit.

“If he's not fired, I really start to question the whole entire operation of this university,” Cooper said.

Natalia Farrer wrote the story about Carver for the Campus Echo. She said there should not be a rush to judgment.

“If you're accused of something as a professor, it shouldn't be 'OK, cut, bye.' It should be, 'You're gonna investigate further. We're gonna see what the truth is,'” Farrer said.

“I think it was a shock to a majority of our students,” NCCU student body president Tomasi Larry said. “I've had several dealings with Dr. Carver and he was a phenomenal, phenomenal administrator, very student-oriented, very student-friendly."

With Carver's reputation on the line, student leaders fear what that might mean for NCCU.

“I want people to understand that this was an individual who did this, not an entire university community,” Larry said.

University officials declined to comment Wednesday, saying this is a personnel issue.