This series is ongoing and meant to describe the atmosphere at WLU including Capehart’s resignation, and the ousting of nearly every “conservative” from campus, including myself (a classical liberal). The list of the fallen includes Shane Stack, Howard Monroe, Jeff Knierim, Jack Wright, among others. Two of those–Stack and Knierim–helped me manage grants received form Koch, IHS, and BB&T. The local press did not cover the story adequately despite them knowing of the primary documents I link in these posts. Their stories will be told in some fashion in this series. Some have expressed interest in my reporting their stories. I will do so after interviews are conducted. What follows in this post is one of the most egregious accounts. It not only recounts an illegal and vulgar attack on the president’s minor daughter, it should be a clarion call to the State of West Virginia to open an investigation into the practices of WLU in an ongoing coverup and denial of that illegal act.
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In the month of February 2012, the WLU faculty senate broke the law when the Chair passed around an “anonymous” letter vulgarly complaining about an educational program on campus that was intended to get juniors and seniors in high school to enroll in college classes for credit if they qualified.
Ohio has a similar program though it is a statewide offering, and it is used liberally by the state high schools to get students thinking about college early and working toward a college degree. WLU is a stone’s throw from Ohio, so in some ways, WLU’s program was meant as a competitive model to garner more students, and good students at that.
When the chair passed out the letter, he claimed (paraphrasing) “I just happened to come across this letter and I am passing it out as information.” The letter (linked above, and produced as a FOIA request of this author), not only made the assertion that the president’s daughter was academically inferior, but it revealed her actual ACT scores. Those scores have been redacted in the copy linked here. The act of revealing her academic record, and the act passing out the letter publicly to the faculty senate, was, and is, a clear violation of FERPA. The letter also points to her movie career as a reason for barring her from college credit (for what reason, is unclear). We should note that this same girl is now attending one of the most prestigious colleges in the U.S.: Pepperdine.
In response to this violation of law, the faculty did nothing. No faculty senator or faculty member complained of this violation. As faculty senator at the time, I walked out of the proceedings when this letter was passed around. I then made it known to my dean and chair that what the faculty senate did was shameful and illegal. I was the only faculty member who voiced opposition to this most despicable act.
In response to the anonymous letter being made public by the senate, then provost Anthony Koyzis, sent an email to the entire campus the same day (also the result of a FOIA request of this author. side note: like most administrators at WLU, Koyzis was forced out by the faculty and the current provost, in part, barely a year later. He now teaches in Greece). Please read the entire courageous email.
In that email, Koyzis claimed that the faculty senate engaged in a “slanderous” practice and asked the senate to “come clean on this matter.” He demanded the senate apologize to Capehart and “his family.” He further insisted that he wanted to know who crafted the letter. Finally, he asked for that person to “come forward.”
To this day no one has come forward. Only the faculty senate chair who passed out the letter knows who placed the document into his hands that he publicly passed out during an official meeting of public employees.
Koyzis called the passing out of the anonymous “document” a “disgusting act of cowardly behavior.” Other than myself and Koyzis, no one said a word criticizing the act. In the silence, we can only assume approval.
In my own department, the current Provost and present Interim Chair defended the actions of the faculty senate chair. When I asked if there would be charges filed on behalf of the students at WLU and those who might potentially have their FERPA violated, I was told no.
To date, no charges have been filed. But what is clear is that the faculty at WLU will go to great lengths to target the president, including attacking his family and minor daughter in violation of the law.
The current Provost, Brian Crawford, wrote me a letter in response to my FOIA request dated 10 December 2015. In it he states that the university currently “denies” a “FERPA violation occurred.” However, it is quite obvious one did. It’s also apparent why Crawford would want to deny this: many university faculty broke the law and his office is now covering up that fact by denying that which is plainly true. The Provost of the college still does nothing to right an egregious and illegal wrong against a former student of the university. What is the university doing to protect it’s current and future students against future violations of this nature? Apparently nothing. Their non-action marks their willing complicity in the harm that came to a minor child, a child who had an “unfortunate” association with a president who was loathed by college employees.
To the State of West Virginia Ethics Commission: Do your job. Instead of a political hit on Capehart, you should be protecting the privacy of minor children who reside in your state. Open an investigation, and hold the proper people responsible.
Next Up: The Faculty sees its opportunity to oust the president.