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WVU criticized over degree

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University administrators showed “seriously flawed” judgment in awarding Gov. Joe Manchin’s daughter a master’s degree she didn’t earn, rushing to protect her and themselves from media scrutiny, a panel investigating the dispute says.

But the erroneous decision does not signal widespread or pervasive problems in either record-keeping or the granting of academic credits in the College of Business and Economics, its report concludes.

Failures of process and leadership were “unique to this particular, high-profile case” involving Mylan Inc. executive Heather Bresch, and there is no reason to question the legitimacy of any other executive master’s of business administration degrees that have been awarded.

The damning 95-page report released Wednesday by the WVU Board of Governors is harshest on Provost Gerald Lang and business school dean Steve Sears, who the panel said had no academic foundation for retroactively granting Bresch the 1998 degree.

However, the report stopped short of recommending any specific disciplinary action against anyone, advising only that WVU “take appropriate action.”

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