Central Carolina Community College approved nearly double the standard number of paid holidays recognized by other state agencies, a recent report by State Auditor Beth Wood says. But CCCC isn’t alone, as the report found 53 percent of community colleges approved extra paid holidays.

Investigators got a tip from the auditor’s hotline that Sanford-based CCCC was approving more than the standard 12 paid holidays provided to state employees. Investigators found CCCC approved 11 more holidays than commonly recognized, amounting to nearly $900,000 in vacation pay for fiscal 2017.

In 2003, the head of the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents sent community college presidents a memo recommending colleges follow the state’s holiday and leave policies. As the audit report notes, the Community College System Office failed to follow through.

The issue was raised again in 2014, when CCCC’s vice president emailed the system office for guidance on paid holidays. The vice president said the office never responded. According to the audit report, a system office representative believed a verbal response was given to CCCC.

Among the 58 community colleges in North Carolina, 31 — including CCCC — approved extra paid holidays, including Halifax Community College, McDowell Technical Community College, and Mayland Community College.

The State Board of Community College hasn’t set a policy specifying the number of paid holidays, the report says. Without guidance from the State Board, CCCC’s Board of Trustees believed it could approve any number of paid holidays.

“The additional holidays were offered to CCCC employees as a means of rewarding their outstanding work and commitment to the College,” H. Julian Philpott Jr., the chairman of CCCC’s Board of Trustees, wrote in a letter to the auditor’s office. “Based on a review of pertinent rules and laws, we felt additional paid holidays could be used.”

The auditor suggested the State Board of Community Colleges set a limit of 12 paid holidays for each community college, matching the state standard. In a letter responding to the audit, the board indicated it would adopt such a rule.