The University of Utah administration says the investigation of the school's department of economics, which uncovered grade changing and other improprieties, is complete and no personnel will be dismissed.
"There were a lot of mistakes made, procedures not followed and some things done very sloppily. But we hope we have dealt with each allegation very carefully and thoroughly," said U. Provost James L. Clayton.The provost's comments came Friday after the university made public the results of a six-month investigation into allegations of altering of grades and mismanagement of finances and personnel.
Among the investigation's finding, reported in a U. press release, was that some grades had been altered, including five grades given to one student - a faculty member's spouse - which had been erased at some point and replaced with higher grades.
The U. never found out who tampered with the grades.
Clayton said the university considers the grade tampering "a very serious matter." He said the U. tried "very hard" to find out who changed the grades, but couldn't.
"If we could find out who did it, we would take immediate and appropriate action," the provost said.
He defined that action as dismissal of the person and perhaps initiating legal action against him or her.
A recommendation from the investigation was that faculty deliver grades and grade-change forms directly to the registrar. If they are collected in the department office, they are to be locked up. The investigation found that grade sheets were kept on the department secretary's desk where anyone could have changed them.
The investigation also found that the department sold photocopies of class materials to students but did not keep a cash accounting; two children of department employees were hired in violation of the university's anti-nepotism policy; and two employees received overtime pay as a "Christmas bonus" without working overtime.
The U. has instituted changes in the department's front-office to avoid further problems.
The university first learned of the department's problems through an anonymous letter to U. President Chase N. Peterson last summer.
The provost said the letter also contained many defamatory and injurious allegations that proved false. An anonymous letter's validity is always in doubt, but the letter was so detailed and the charges so serious that an investigation was launched, Clayton said.
Clayton said that he has never received a signed letter or a visit from the economics faculty outlining the problems uncovered in the investigation. He said if anyone has information concerning the allegations, they should come forward. "But they need to sign the letter and stand behind it so the accused can confront the accuser."
The provost characterized the economics department as having some long-standing problems because of factions caused by political ideology.