Making the Grade, or Making Them Up

By westvirginia on September 28, 2009
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Marshall Thundering Herd Rock
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Not again.

The daughter of another member of West Virginia‘s executive branch is caught up in another scandal involving the changing of grades, this time at Marshall University. Our friend and AP reporter Lawrence Messina breaks down the story at his website:

“Both state Treasurer John Perdue and his daughter Emily have spoken to The Charleston Gazette about a dispute over grades she’s received for independent coursework at Marshall University.

The younger Perdue “said she did nothing wrong and got no special treatment when she earned two A grades this summer to replace two ‘incomplete’ grades for courses she took during the spring 2009 semester,” the article said.

She and her father said the school had allowed her to remedy the incompletes under the instruction of Rosalyn Templeton, executive dean of Marshall’s College of Education and Human Service.

The Democratic officeholder had earlier told The Associated Press and others that his daughter “has become an innocent victim in an internal power struggle” in Templeton’s department.

The daughter’s professor during that spring coursework, Laura Wyant, has asked Marshall’s Faculty Senate to investigate the grade changes, arguing they were done without her permission.”

Lincoln Walks At Midnight: Marshall’s Turn for a Grading Dispute

This comes over a year after Gov. Joe Manchin‘s daughter, Heather Bresch, received 26 credits out of the blue for her M.B.A. from West Virginia University 10 years after leaving the program. When she left the program in 1998, she had only completed 22 credit hours, thus not completing the program. However, she listed receiving a M.B.A. from WVU on her resume. The issue came to light when she was promoted to COO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, still listing her M.B.A. A newspaper made a phone call to WVU to confirm the degree and was told that Bresch earned no such degree.

Five days later WVU reversed their early statement, saying that Bresch had indeed earned an M.B.A., she just didn’t pay the fee to get her diploma. Further research showed that wasn’t true. Then Business School Dean R. Stephen Sears granted Bresch the missing credits out of thin air. After a independent investigation, it was revealed that the missing credits were never earned and the M.B.A. was rescinded. Sears resigned, as well as Provost Dr. Gerald Lang and University President Michael Garrison (a classmate of Bresch’s, a former lobbyist for Mylan, and former Higher Education Policy Commission board member under Gov. Manchin).

Now, which newspaper wrote the bulk of the pieces about the Bresch scandal?

The Dominion Post in Morgantown? Nope

The Charleston Gazette? Nope

Any West Virginia media? Nope

The answer: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You couldn’t get WV media to touch the story until toward the very end. So I find it interesting that the Charleston Gazette and other state papers are jumping on board this time around. I’m not complaining, it’s a good story and since Marshall University is a state university, that makes the faculty there state employees and any favoritism towards an elected official needs to be investigated. My question is what makes this case of favoritism different from the Bresch scandal?

I guess I’ll never know.

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