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Staff changes, firing come after internal audit

A department at North Dakota State University that was the subject of an internal audit this year recently underwent three staff changes. Most notably, Paul Gleye, the chairman of the architecture and landscape architecture department, stepped do...

Paul Gleye

A department at North Dakota State University that was the subject of an internal audit this year recently underwent three staff changes.

Most notably, Paul Gleye, the chairman of the architecture and landscape architecture department, stepped down from his administrative role. But it is unclear if the audit that was completed last month played a role in the change.

Gleye is now a tenured faculty member in the department.

He was out of the office Monday and unavailable for comment.

An e-mail sent to Gleye was not returned.

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In addition, Judy Graff, an office manager in the department, has been fired from NDSU, said Broc Lietz, associate vice president for finance and administration.

And Jimmy Billups, a wood shop technician in the department, has indicated he will resign, Lietz said.

The audit, prompted in part by students' concerns about program fees, recommended that students have more input in how their money is spent.

It also raised questions about university policies related to purchasing guidelines and overtime hours.

A letter of termination said Graff failed to get more than one quote for expensive equipment purchases and failed to maintain adequate overtime records, one factor in her firing.

However, the audit also said it appeared that Gleye was not diligent in supervising Graff's overtime.

Graff is appealing the termination, Lietz said. She declined to comment.

In a letter of response she wrote to NDSU, Graff said she did not have adequate training of university procedures.

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Billups said he was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 21 and his attorney is working with NDSU to negotiate a separation agreement.

He declined to comment further.

The audit also raised questions about Billups and overtime hours.

Gary Smith, dean of engineering and architecture, said he could not comment on the staff changes. He said they were due to "cumulative effects," not a single event.

Associate professor Ganapathy Mahalingam is serving as interim chairman while a search is under way, Smith said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

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