Editorial: DSU president not alone in university enrollment fiascoThough Thursday’s news of indiscretions by Dickinson State University President Dr. Richard McCallum was shocking to some, sadly it comes as no surprise to others.
Though Thursday’s news of indiscretions by Dickinson State University President Dr. Richard McCallum was shocking to some, sadly it comes as no surprise to others.
The North Dakota University System asked McCallum to resign after finding DSU had enrolled people as students without their knowledge.
These people attended symposiums and training seminars affiliated with DSU last fall. DSU then took their information and enrolled them without their consent and they received a grade without their knowledge, according to a NDUS report.
The reputation of an institution which brings students and faculty from around the globe to our community is tarnished.
But why is it that these “students” are the ones who reported being enrolled and not someone behind the scenes at DSU?
The report shows, “staff was pressured to engage in unethical, suspect or wasteful activities to meet demands.”
And though “interviewees suggest that the leadership on campus has created a culture where controls and best practices are often disregarded,” how could not one of the staff members aware of this situation blow the whistle? They knew it was wrong and yet didn’t let someone at the state university level know. Pick up the phone and tell them anonymously.
More than President McCallum is at fault.
There are undoubtedly others in on the violations. However, the chancellor told The Press that McCallum was to be in touch with him Thursday morning after being asked to resign Wednesday.
Saturday McCallum said in a letter he had no intention of resigning. Why did it take so long?
All evidence shows rules were broken and trust diminished. Those who created this scandal need to be held accountable, including the leader. Resigning would be the decent thing to do and will help get affairs back in order in a timely manner. Staying on will keep a cloud over the university right as classes begins.
And what would even be more harmful for the school, state and community is turning this into a legal battle. Whatever happens, do not let it come to that!
As your letter suggests Mr. McCallum, you want what’s best for DSU. Is your choice really what’s best?
DSU had at least three opportunities to stop attendees from being registered in degree-credit courses; the Office of Extended Learning, Office of Enrollment and Admissions Office should have rejected these students due to a lack of an application for admission.
After finding DSU did indeed falsify information, the university system checked other campuses only to find DSU was alone in this unethical practice.
This situation must lead to a better system of checks and balances.
Though the lowlights are at the forefront, there is still a good university in this city. You look at the graduates and the influence they have in our community and that can not be taken away. There will continue to be benefits from DSU and many of its people.
Yet, we lose trust in one of the biggest employers in all of southwest North Dakota.
The NDUS report looks at potential impact of this scandal and fiscal repercussions are near the top of the list. Not only did NDUS have to spend resources, including many people’s time, to create the report, there could be federal and state funding issues. Accreditation is also jeopardized.
Someone from the university needs to explain why this happened? Everyone deserves that much.
In the end, the extensive push for increased enrollment has done just the opposite. Grade: F.
Dickinson Press Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Jennifer McBride sit on The Press Editorial Board.