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Are Universities Riddled With Corruption?

By       Message Roger Shuler     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 1/12/09

Universities are filled with people who have terminal degrees, and one might think that would make them smart.

But recent history, particularly here in the South, suggests that higher education can be just as corrupt as government, business, or any other field.

I was reminded of that with the recent death of Jan Kemp, a former English professor at the University of Georgia who blew the whistle on academic fraud involving "student-athletes."

Kemp was a true heroine, and her life was rather tortured, largely because she insisted that a university should actually educate its students:
Higher Education Loses a Whistleblowing Heroine
Have things changed much in the 20-plus years since Jan Kemp won more than $1 million in a lawsuit against UGA, which was found to have fired her because she refused to give passing grades to functionally illiterate "students?"

Recent events at my former employer, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), suggest the answer is no.

In fact, our research has uncovered several areas in Alabama higher education that should be of interest to an Obama Justice Department. Some involve blatant violations of federal law. Others involve schemes that apparently bilked taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. All have been largely ignored by justice officials in the Age of Bush.

As my termination shows, higher education in Alabama has been infested with Republican sleaze--much the way our executive and judicial branches have been corrupted.

It will be another month or more before a new U.S. attorney comes on board in Birmingham. We can suggest several areas that should be of interest for our new prosecutor:
Has UAB Become a Hotbed for Mismanagement and Corruption?


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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

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