Dickinson State Scandal Is Still Far From Over

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In his budget address to the legislature today, Governor Jack Dalrymple was somewhat dismissive of many of the problems and scandals within North Dakota’s university system. He called them, including the massive diploma fraud perpetrated at Dickinson State University, “distractions.”

But the “distraction” continues at Dickinson State. Officials there, and in the university system as a whole, are very much in a “let’s move on” mode but federal investigations continue. The Dickinson Press reported this buried in an article about DSU teaming up with the private University of Mary:

The news seemed to come as a breath of fresh air for members of DSU’s faculty and administration as the school has been mired in controversy for much of the past two years. A scandal involving DSU’s artificial inflation of enrollment numbers came to light in early 2012, leading to the school being placed “on notice” by its accrediting body, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The next step after being place on notice is for an institution to lose its accreditation with the NCA, which also oversees U-Mary. U.S. Department of Education officials visited the DSU campus last week, although the nature of the visit is unknown. Representatives from the DOE have not returned calls made by The Press.

There is still a chance DSU could lose its accreditation. And, remember, there are still no state criminal charges brought against anyone in the university system who was responsible for this fraud.

It’s one thing to want to look forward, not backward, as a public official. It’s quite another to try and sweep a scandal that is still festering under the rug.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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