Saturday, March 08, 2008

Preemptive Damage Control:Gut the Law

It's easier to control the message if you control the information. Today we see how the public benefits when a law prevents those in power from shutting down access to information.
Some alumni told West Virginia University administrators they believed the controversy over Mylan Inc. executive Heather Bresch's graduate degree cast a dark cloud over the school, according to documents released by WVU this week.

The documents, obtained by the Post-Gazette under the state's Freedom of Information Act, offer a glimpse into how some alumni and West Virginia citizens view the matter, but offer no new insights into how or why officials decided to award a Masters of Business Administration degree to Ms. Bresch in October, nearly a decade after she left the program.

"I am a member of the class of 2000 and am writing to you to express my embarrassment over the Heather Bresch story," one disgruntled alumnus wrote in a Dec. 30 e-mail to university President Michael Garrison. "Your handling of this situation tarnishes the name of West Virginia University and calls into question every degree it has awarded."

"I for one plan to sue," said another. "My degree isn't worth squat anymore. When the full extent of this gets out the reputation of WVU will be completely in the toilet."

The e-mails were sent in the wake of a Dec. 21 story by the Post-Gazette that raised questions about how the university went about granting the degree even though university records showed Ms. Bresch, daughter of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, had completed only about half of the credits required.
My guess is that Graham was motivated to oppose the extension of Pennsylvania's Right-To-Know Law to state-related universities by the thought of the press armed with a new tool uncovering similar scandals at Penn State.

Throw Jake Corman (R-Old Main) out of office.

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