“has instead become the epicenter of sudden firings, lawsuits and even a police escort from a board of trustees meeting”
This is the behavior of people who are frightened. Is the school in trouble?
From the Seattle Times, via Wenatchee World:
‘Culture of fear’ at Western Washington University after auditors fired, prompting lawsuits and resignations
The internal audit office at Western Washington University is tasked with investigating and preventing legal and financial risk. But it has instead become the epicenter of sudden firings, lawsuits and even a police escort from a board of trustees meeting in recent years.
After one former auditor sued, claiming he was pushed out over an audit of a former president’s travel expenses, Western settled for $216,000.
His successor, Antonia Allen, sued the university earlier this month for alleged retaliation and wrongful termination. Allen was fired soon after her office completed a contentious audit into the use of “ghost courses” to pad students’ credit loads, which her office reported as fraud to federal investigators.
The only other internal auditor at the university said the termination created a “culture of fear” and left as a result. So did the longtime administrator who initially reported the “ghost courses” to the office and saw Allen’s firing as an “incredibly dramatic move.”
The turmoil is troubling, said Richard Chambers, CEO and president of the Institute of Internal Auditors. The organization’s industry standards, which Western’s audit office is supposed to follow, state that internal auditors must be independent.
“There appears to be an unfortunate pattern that has emerged,” Chambers said when a reporter described the situation to him early this year. “In decades in this profession, I’m hard-pressed to recall many instances in which there have been two very high-profile cases like this that have occurred at the same organization around the same time.”
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