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Recent audit cites documentation issues at UND, other schools

GRAND FORKS — An audit suggesting improper document handling and backup at some North Dakota universities will be discussed by the State Board of Higher Education Audit Committee at a meeting today.

The assertions made in the state audit report point out several shortfalls that could affect students financially and academically.

The University of North Dakota is cited for inaccurately reporting to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, not monitoring enrollment correctly, not monitoring certain student payments thoroughly enough and inaccurately establishing student residency.

In the report, UND states that some of the problems have been corrected.

For instance, the report cites a lack of documentation regarding noncash student refunds in the parking department.

The university acknowledged the shortfall and stated, “Adequate authorization and documentation now exist for parking credits.”

But UND also was cited for not having proper procedure in place to establish student residency.

The university disagreed, pointing out the school collects proof of residency, but also noted the school would work with Core Technology Services “to identify common residency procedures so everyone understands the data being extracted for reports and to ensure that the data in the residency fields in the system are being used according to established procedures.”

Ultimately, the auditor concluded that UND did not meet minimum requirements in that area. North Dakota State University also received similar marks.

UND also was cited for not reporting student enrollment thoroughly enough, which could jeopardize the health of other students because the holes in the system could allow unvaccinated students to attend the university without being detected.

Other North Dakota University System institutions were written up for the same things, as well as inadequate control procedures for handling tuition and fee waivers.

The Audit Committee consists of committee Chairwoman Kathleen Neset, state board Chairwoman Kirsten Diederich and board member Don Morton.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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