Audit critical of school on foreign phone calls

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — North Carolina’s state auditor says Elizabeth City State University shouldn’t have footed the bill for thousands of phone calls to Senegal and poorly managed the school’s long-distance activity.

The findings from the investigation released Thursday showed the school paid $140,000 for calls over three years to the African nation, rather than shift the expense to federal grant money.

Elizabeth City State’s African studies program was developing textbooks and other learning materials for Senegal.

Auditor Beth Wood’s office says the school made 5,500 calls, with close to half lasting one minute or less, possibly from poor connections or wrong numbers. Still, the report says the large number of international calls appeared reasonable.

The university says the federal government has refused to give unused grant funds as a reimbursement.