Dickinson State University president expects no ‘earth-shattering’ developments with newest auditThe final audit regarding a degree-scandal at Dickinson State University is in draft form and is expected to be released next week, officials said Monday.
The final audit regarding a degree-scandal at Dickinson State University is in draft form and is expected to be released next week, officials said Monday.
DSU President D.C. Coston will travel to Bismarck to discuss the state auditor’s finds March 27, he said during a Dickinson City Commission meeting Monday at City Hall. He is confident there will be some findings, but expects no “earth-shattering” developments.
A previous audit revealed serious issues with the files of 743 students who participated in special international programs, including issuing unearned degrees. That number has risen to 771, DSU officials said.
Coston asked the auditor to look at all student files to make sure the incident was not systematic.
“The auditor took a look at all of those programs and indeed found that every folder that he checked was absolutely rock solid,” Coston said.
While reports of the internal audit have raised questions about the accreditation of the university, Coston assured that DSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. He added that DSU told Higher Learning about the audit and its results before it went public Feb. 10.
A group from Higher Learning will visit DSU at the end of April to make sure the university has taken corrective measures, Coston said.
The Dickinson commissioners said they are glad to have Coston as DSU’s president.
“Your tone and demeanor comes across to me that you are very confident about the future of DSU,” Commissioner Gene Jackson said.
The university has had almost 100 years of service to Dickinson and the region, Mayor Dennis Johnson said.
“Perhaps for two or three of those years … the institution lost its way, but for the other 96, 97 years you didn’t lose your way,” he said.