Since the ouster of former president Ted Spring early this year, public interest in the financial workings of Cape Fear Community College has spiked. At least one local news organization, WECT, has been doggedly pursuing the details of performers’ contracts signed with CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center – which kicks off its inaugural season this fall.
Community College officials are balking at providing the details of performer contracts because, they say, A-List entertainers won’t make deals without assurances of confidentiality. Breach that confidentiality clause, and the performer won’t show up – but the College will still be on the hook for the fee.
North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood says if her office were to investigate, the first thing they’d examine is whether there were monies available to pay for such a contract and then whether those monies were used in compliance with applicable regulations, policies, and state statutes.
"But then what it would get down to is, for the benefit to the community, best practices, does this make sense? Then in a performance audit, you just sort of lay that out there, that from a performance perspective, from dollars available, to be used for the operations of the Community College versus this performing arts center – does that make sense? "
Wood says it’s not uncommon for her Office to investigate sensitive issues, determine whether an organization is in compliance, and keep those sensitive details private.
"But for the general public, as far as transparency, again if they’ve got that confidentiality agreement in that contract, then I’m pretty confident that would not be made public."
Liza Minnelli is slated to perform at the Opening Gala of CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center October 3rd.