Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Abetting Fraud in School Systems and Universities

In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.-- Tacitus
School systems, colleges and universities across the country get billions of dollars from the federal government on the strength of their accreditation by various professional and state organizations. Accreditation is taken as assurance that the school has met certain standards.

Federal false claims legislation has been used to penalize colleges and universities who have acquired accreditation by hiding their failings from accrediting organizations.

But often, the accrediting organizations are in cahoots with the institutions they accredit. They overlook severe deficiencies, if they even bother to note them. Members of accrediting site-visiting teams are colleagues, even friends, of faculty and administration of schools which are candidates for accreditation.

The track to accreditation has been greased by all of the following:
a. schools providing luxurious hotel rooms demanded by visiting teams well-stocked with expensive liquor;

b. six week’s advance receipt of the examiner’s questions so that “spontaneous” answers might be prepared, and skeletons locked away in hidden closets;

c. visiting team members who were students or friends of faculty in the candidate schools;

d. faculty threatened with dismissal or non-promotion should they bring up program violations of the schools under consideration for accreditation;

e. interference from local politicians to ward off disaccreditation when malfeasance was discovered;

f. direct interference in state-level agencies to block disaccreditation because of felonious activity by school administration, e.g. selling drugs.


Faculty in candidate schools seem to be (or pretend to be) unaware that their personal efforts in disregarding published school procedures, or hiding embarrassing violations, will have abetted a fraudulent claim when -- seldom, if -- their institution makes application for federal funds.

This misfeasance at some of the country’s biggest universities persists unchallenged by federal authorities for two apparent reasons:
1. many schools are seen to have formidable legal protectors, especially universities with law schools;

2. many investigators do not understand how responsibility is situated in the university and what might be indicators of violation -- often overlooked by otherwise highly competent lawyers with organizational experience only in the business world.
To examine these issues further, see Combatting Educational Corruption

Cordially,

-- EGR