Friday, March 28, 2008

Heather Bresch Update

Chutta is away and may be checking in from time to time for non-WVU sports related news so here is the biggest story. Craig Walker was apparently in constant contact with Ms. Bresch the week leading up to WVU deciding that she had the degree according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette FOIA records. The damning paragraph:

The decision to grant the degree retroactively -- done following Post-Gazette inquiries to Ms. Bresch and the university about the M.B.A. she claimed to have received -- apparently was made with little involvement from business school Dean R. Stephen Sears, who only attended one meeting on the subject, held just hours before a statement drafted by Mr. Walker and others was released to the newspaper explaining that officials determined Ms. Bresch earned the degree.

Mr. Sears was given a copy of that statement by WVU's communications office, but did not provide any input until after it was released to the Post-Gazette.
Of course this is also after the administration has claimed at various times that Bresch (1) merely forgot to pay her graduation fee and had completed all her courses; (2) had all her academic records lost during an electronic transfer that effected two other students (who it turns out it didn't actually); and (3) should receive her degree after a complete investigation by the Business school including a statement by Gerald Lang which amount to "move along, nothing to see here." The bad news. None of it matters as she will still get her degree retroactively due to "lifetime activities" which is bullshit because all MBA students are working. And no one in the administration will get in any trouble as Sears and Paul Speaker probably take the fall for this.
When the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made a routine call in October to check her credentials, WVU’s Registrar told the paper she did not have an Executive MBA.

Eleven days later, R. Steven Sears, dean of the College of Business and Economics, decided after a “thorough review” of records that Bresch had met all of the requirements for the degree in December 1998. He now says he never saw the actual records and relied on the advice of associate dean Cy Logar and Paul Speaker, a professor in B&E who was director of graduate programs in 1998.
So to recap Dean Sears released a "statement" he had no input into and had barely seen saying that she should get the degree retroactively and will now be fired for it. But Bresch and the administration will be clean on this:
The phone calls between Mr. Walker and Ms. Bresch include a nine-minute conversation Thursday, Oct. 11, after WVU's registrar told the newspaper she did not complete her degree. Mr. Walker and Ms. Bresch also talked for seven minutes shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, when Mr. Walker summoned Mr. Sears, Provost Gerald Lang and other officials to his office to discuss the matter. About three hours later, a draft of a statement explaining a records discrepancy was circulating among the group. It was approved by Ms. Bresch.
Or this:

The newspaper found that WVU officials added six classes, including grades, to Ms. Bresch's transcript and changed two classes that had been marked "incomplete" to show letter grades. The newspaper's research indicated the classes were added without records showing that Ms. Bresch registered, paid or did the work for them.
Or this:

WVU redacted details of more than 20 calls made between Thursday, Oct. 11, and Monday, Oct. 15. The school also failed to produce itemized land-line or cell phone records for Mr. Garrison, a high school classmate and former business associate of Ms. Bresch, and longtime Manchin family friend.
This shit wouldn't fly at Hamline.


Anonymous said...

Check and mate. But fortunately for those implicated, in WV you can simply say you were just playing checkers with chess pieces and ignore reality. Glad the Diminutive Post was on top of this one from the beginning. WV media won´t even cover their own scandals...even after the PPG did the leg work for them from long distance.

Anonymous said...

Read the panel report. Paul Speaker did NOT advise Sears to award the degree. In fact, he is the only person that spoke the truth and yall are futher tainting his good name.