Archive for Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KU business dean steps down in wake of allegations over mishandling of differential tuition

September 22, 2010, 2:12 p.m. Updated September 22, 2010, 5:01 p.m.


William L. Fuerst

William L. Fuerst

KU business school dean steps down

The dean of KU's school of business is stepping down after allegations of misused funds. Students brought the allegations to light when they believed money they had agreed to pay was not being used as promised. Enlarge video

Kansas University announced Wednesday afternoon that Business School Dean William Fuerst will step down at the end of the academic year.

The resignation comes just a few months after students began questioning how the school was using funds raised through additional course fees charged to students taking business courses.

A breakdown of how the differential tuition funds are spent has been expected since late August — but, as of Wednesday, still was not complete.

Fuerst, who will remain on the faculty, was named dean in June 2000 after serving as associate dean of Texas A&M;’s Lowry Mays School of Business. His tenure is the second-longest of any of KU’s business school deans.

Tim Metz, one of the graduate students who brought forth the concerns, welcomed the announcement that Fuerst would step away from leadership of the school.

“At the end of the day, this is a real step in the right direction,” Metz said. “Hopefully, this is going to lead to more openness and transparency in the business school.”

Both Fuerst and KU Provost Jeff Vitter were unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon, but Vitter said in a statement that he had asked Fuerst to work on a new project that improves collaboration with area businesses and leads to more internship opportunities for students.

“We appreciate the leadership Dean Fuerst has provided during his long tenure as dean,” Vitter said in the statement. “KU has benefited from the quality of our business school and the new programs it now offers. In the same way, I know that he will help improve our efforts in corporate relations.”

Todd Cohen, a university spokesman, said Fuerst had led the business school through a period of growth, as the school added five majors, 19 faculty members and 314 students, taking its enrollment to 1,680.

He encouraged people to wait for an upcoming differential tuition report before rushing to judgment on any role the situation had on Fuerst’s stepping down.

“I’m sure people will speculate, but he’s going to be here when the report comes out, obviously,” Cohen said, adding that the university was “confident” the report would show funds were used properly.

A national search will begin this fall to replace Fuerst, and a replacement is expected to be named by the time Fuerst leaves the deanship in June.

In a memo sent to the business school’s faculty and staff, Fuerst said he had been planning on retiring in the next two or three years. He said his decision to step down now was related to the timing of several items that will fall to the new dean, including KU’s major fundraising campaign scheduled for a public kickoff next fall; the school’s efforts to construct a new building; and key business faculty searches.

“I feel it would be appropriate for a new dean to be involved in these activities and for the new faculty to begin their careers at KU with the dean with whom they will work in the long term,” Fuerst wrote. “This is an extraordinarily critical time in the evolution of the School and an appropriate time for a new dean to begin.”


happyrock 7 years, 9 months ago

I hope someone will finally look into how the Endowment's scholarships are distributed.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Do we get to see the entire statement or is there a press release?

kuprof54 7 years, 9 months ago

mom_of_three: BELIEVE THEM NOW?????????

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

nope, still waiting to see the evidence and not just he said/she said

kuprof54 7 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Why would I be important to see it? Why WOULD I see it? I dont work there. Anyone could see it if it was in the paper and the paper didn't give any proof, just accusations from students and denials from the school. No one has really presented anything unless I missed a link in the paper And why do you insist on calling names just because I dont blindly believe what anyone says without proof?

Chiliskate 7 years, 9 months ago

ok..what allegations? what questions.? what is differential tuition?

wow...editor? editor?

Jonathan Kealing 7 years, 9 months ago

If you click the link in the article, you'll be able to read all about the allegations from the students themselves.

Chiliskate 7 years, 9 months ago deftly sent me to an OPINION piece...which I had already read when I posed the question.

Did the LJW send reporters to find the facts themselves?

Jonathan Kealing 7 years, 9 months ago

If you'd already read the piece, then you know what the allegations are. So, I'm not sure what your question is.

rolliepollie 7 years, 9 months ago

Eye-catching headline: KU business dean steps down in wake of allegations over mishandling of differential tuition.

Are you, LJWorld, insinuating one is related to the other? May I see the proof please.

formerksteacher 7 years, 9 months ago

You could if the business school would just share their accounting of how the money was spent, which is exactly what this group of students have been promised, have continued asking for and yet been denied time after time. Want proof? You aren't the only one asking for it.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Isnt there an accounting of the money on the website or is that not detailed enough for the students?

formerksteacher 7 years, 9 months ago

This was only provided after MONTHS of demands that it be posted, and it is in no way a detailing of how the funds have been spent over the last 5 years. We're still waiting on that.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

months of demands - really? lets not exaggerate or anything.
I heard the students asked for it and the deans gave them some figures within a short time, but the students weren't satisfied. The numbers on the website are out there, but evidently not detailed enough.
still a lot of he said/she said

deec 7 years, 9 months ago

"The resignation comes just a few months after students began questioning how the school was using funds raised through additional course fees charged to students taking business courses."

mysterion 7 years, 9 months ago

MOT, yes, the Dean's gave us figures that didn't even come close to adding up to the actual budget. They were clearly self-prepared and in no way reflected the dollars going in and out of the B-School based upon budgetary data we had already pulled. So, since you are a mother of three, I assume that when you get a partial answer from one of your children, or an answer that you think might not be correct, I assume you keep pressing until you get a more complete answer. That is exactly what happened here. We asked a question, what was provided was clearly insufficient to make any sort of determination, so we kept pressing for more information. For goodness sake, a fifth grader could have done much better job providing information, and likely would have been more accurate. It's fine that you want to stand up for these guys for whatever reason, but the data, the administration's actions to date do not support your contentions. My guess is that it never will. If you paid $9,000 out of your own pocket with no accountability provided, you would be angry too.... or perhaps not.

KU_cynic 7 years, 9 months ago

I wasn't sure about this, but odds of Dean Fuerst hanging on went sky high after Provost Vitter sent a recent message to all faculty trumpeting the following:

"Trust — and the integrity it is grounded on — are the most important non-tangible assets an institution can build. At KU and any other great university, trust can and should be part of our common fabric: trust in the dedication of our faculty and staff to serve our students and the state of Kansas, trust in our mutual commitment to excellence and the diversity of ways in which we contribute to it, and trust that the decisions of the university’s leadership team will be informed and promote the greater good.

Trust is built over time with a commitment to transparency and communication. It will depend upon broad participation and grassroots efforts that engage all relevant stakeholders in an open and clear process. Depending upon the situation, such stakeholders could include KU faculty, administration, staff, students, parents, alumni, and key partners — such as our local communities, businesses and corporations, school systems, government, and other universities."

In the context of those ideals, Fuerst had to go "in the wake of allegations . . ."

Kontum1972 7 years, 9 months ago

did someone contact the IRS?

i am sure they would like to get in on this one.

mysterion 7 years, 9 months ago

Kontum: Actually, the FBI is taking a look at this issue, so once they are done I'm sure the IRS will get the leftovers.

Jonathan Kealing 7 years, 9 months ago

All of the information we have right now, including a phone call from a spokeswoman for KU just a few minutes ago, is that there are no active criminal investigations. Specifically, there is no investigation by the FBI.

lamb 7 years, 9 months ago

This is just another example of how KU mismanages money. The fees go up each year. The employees do not get any raises, but the administrators are continually "reorganizing" as a smoke screen to give more money to their cronies as higher salaries.

Their reasoning of costing $60,000 to provide full disclosure is a complete lie! It is not that difficult to look at where the money went. KU just does not want to divulge it.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

From an earlier story: "In 2010, Dean Fuerst and Associate Dean Keith Chauvin are budgeted to be paid salaries of $308,000 and $214,000, respectively. According to the AACSB salary survey, these salaries rank among the highest paid for their positions in the nation. In 2009, the mean salaries for a dean and associate dean on a national basis was $208,000 and $156,000, respectively. Salary levels at the 75th percentile for dean and associate deans were $244,700 and $175,600, respectively. School of Business professors are paid salaries at the published median point."

This, along with KU School of Business falling out of the national rankings.

Another example of a mediocre, overpaid KU administrator. Sweep sweep sweep, Provost Vitter. Time to clean house.

slowplay 7 years, 9 months ago

It seems both Vitter and the Chancellor are doing exactly that. I'm not going to make any blanket statements about KU as a whole, because all in all KU has been a terrific asset to the state and Lawrence. It has many fine academic accomplishments to hang it's hat on. It's graduate research programs have attained national acclaim and most of the departments have done a great job. That said, with an institution that large, oversight has been lax the past 10-15 years and certain individuals have taken advantage of that fact . The Provost and the Chancellor seem to be handling things quite well, and with authority. Hopefully their stamp on the University will see things turn to the better.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

Generally agreed. However, the last 20-25 or so years have seen low standards at KU as well as the tolerance for and indeed promotion of mediocrity.

As one might imagine, there is going to be strong and unified resistance to any attempt that Vitter and Gray-Little might make to increase standards and promote excellence. Chiefly resistance from mediocre administrators as well as the faculty senate, which promotes and sustains mediocrity at KU.

paavopetie 7 years, 9 months ago

Are those national average salaries just for business school deans, or for deans in general? Because I would imagine the average salary for a business school dean to be much higher than the dean of geology, for example.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

The AACSB survey referenced is a B-School association which leads one to reason that they are B-School salaries.

yankeevet 7 years, 9 months ago

KU full of crooks; just like the American government..................what say you?

slowplay 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree. This whole country is going to hell. Time to move. I'll meet you in Somalia, where I understand the "livin is easy", but you have to leave first.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

I say you are making blanket generalizations that might make you feel better about yourself but have no basis in reality. See you in Somalia! Ha!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

My previous post was in response to yankeevet.

slowplay 7 years, 9 months ago

I know. This blog format is cumbersome, to say the least.

yankeevet 7 years, 9 months ago

Dont need a blanket too feel better; and u can keep Somalia.........

Thunderdome 7 years, 9 months ago

Do we really need to keep lame ducks around? What is it with this place? First Perkins gets to stay and make big bank until the Regents finally stepped in and even then he walks out with a King's ransom. Now we have at least one if not two more in the Business School. The Chancellor and Provost need to take a page out of the private sector handbook and actually fire someone!

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Nothing has been proven in the business school - just allegations.

mysterion 7 years, 9 months ago

MOT: yes, that's right. The dean just stepped down from the goodness of his own heart. (dripping with sarcasm) But you are wrong, not everything is an allegation. Several things have been proven and without a doubt. The first of those being that the Dean agreed to create a committee to oversee the use of differential tuition. It was based upon this agreement that students decided to support differential tuition. Second, the Dean agreed to provide financial statements twice a year to the entire student body showing how differential tuition funds were spent. Of course, those expenditures were to receive oversight from the student advisory committee. Third, the Dean discontinued said student advisory committee and Fourth, the Dean never provided the agreed upon financial statements. In your world, these are allegations.. however, in reality, they are truth. I guess it's clear which world you live in.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

But that doesn't mean any wrong doing took place. The dean just didn't follow through with the committee. No wrong doing has been proven, no misuse of funds have been p[roven. SO YES, ALLEGATIONS

Thunderdome 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes people in academia quit all the time because "nothing has been proven." You and your bosses at the B-School wouldn't last 10 minutes in the private sector. I'm just saying...

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Why do you people think I work at the b school? i may work at KU, but no one has ever said where I work. You people really like assumptions.

deec 7 years, 9 months ago

The level of defensiveness of MOT approaches Alex level. Maybe she's related to the guy. :0

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Gray-Little refused to touch this issue until the board of regents hit her with it. Is that leadership?

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

While discontinuing the committee and no providing the statements are suspicious, that does not prove any wrong doing took place. That doesn't mean anyone tried to cover anything up. But that is what the committee is for. I will wait and make my decision until all the evidence comes out and not merely on speculationn by arm chair quarterbacks.
Lots of speculation going on at KU and on the boards. Perhaps some wrongdoing took place, but that will be for the committee to decide and not mere speculation by people out for blood.

kuprof54 7 years, 9 months ago

MOT: there has been significant amounts of evidence provided. Pages and pages of data have been provided to KU administration. And its way more than just the advisory committee or the biannual financial statements. Let me put it this way: The dean must have really been guilty of something because they made him resign PRIOR to the review results. Does that tell you something? They didn't even need the review to be completed to know that he needed to go. And for the evidence to come from students (who have no power or nothing to gain from it) and have it sway the administration enough to remove the dean means that the data was overwhelming in its substance.

Reid Hollander 7 years, 9 months ago

MOT: Yes it does prove wrongdoing took place. You see those requirements Student oversight and annual accounting) were part of the agreement regarding differential tuition and mandated by the BOR. So the mere fact that they were discontinued is a blatant disregard for the original mandate. I.e. wrongdoing.

Also, if you are so worried about people making assumptions regarding your place of employment why not drop the anonymity and own up to the words you speak. Hiding behind a moniker makes it pretty easy to spew falsehoods.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

I haven't spewed any falsehoods of any kind. I haven't accused anyone of anything. I have just said that no wrong doing or misuse of funds have been proven. No documents have been shown.
Merely discontinuing a committee is not proof that any misuse of funds occurred.
And isn't he going to continue to teach, from the release I read?
According to the press relase, he is going to working in the community to help the business school. You would think if they thought it was going to be a negative image that he would be gone altogether. But I guess they are just waiting for the proof first.
See, I haven't seen any documents and nothing has been released to the public. I just go by what I read and so far, no proof of misuse of funds has been proven. Until the report is released or more info is released, I am not going to merely follow those that yell the loudest. I will wait until the documents are released.

guess_again 7 years, 9 months ago

How about the crime of Academic Arrogance?

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

love my town and love my university. just waiting for this to be resolved so some normalcy can return. staff and students probably can't wait either.

jaholder 7 years, 9 months ago

So it appears that the corruption got beyond the athletic program.

The plot thickens...

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 9 months ago


Maybe if you had been one of the thousands of students who shelled out thousands of dollars each in the form of differential tuition you would realize how silly your argument is.

It doesn't matter what the funds were used for. The collection of them was predicated on the use of certain safeguards which were removed and then the student body was completely ignored by the administration. That itself is wrong doing that deserves him being removed from his administrative post. The administration didn't have a right to collect the differential tuition however they wished and spend it however they wished. Hopefully if the report discloses an actual abuse of funds he will be out right fired (aka, resign from KU entirely).

The rational assumption is the funds were being used in a way contrary to the wishes of the student body (or the administration would have had no logical reason to remove the student oversight and flat out refuse to answer simple questions or provide financial statements that they already possess). But even if they were used completely in a fashion that can only be argued benefited the student body it was still wrong.

guess_again 7 years, 9 months ago

Momof3: The information the students asked for doesn't require high level differential equations to answer. It is simple, tabular, arithmetic budgetary and expenditure information.

Anyone unable to provide them this information should not be attending business school, much less being in administration or a dean of a School of Business. Isn't this the school which teaches accounting, budgeting and finance as a profession, for gods sake?

The Business School's number of faculty positions, programs, and salaries have grown like weeds in recent years. The funders of much of this growth, the students, have asked for some simple accountability. If a person on the public payroll at $300,000 per year (not counting the additional $50,000+ of fringe benefits he receives) can not provide these simple answers in a week or two, something is terribly wrong.

State universities are still public institutions. And these are people doing public work on the public dime.

With his change in duties, what change will occur to the dean's 300K salary, Mr. Vitter? Does he get a year's sabbatical thrown in the mix too?

gsxr600 7 years, 9 months ago

So my b-school fees are on the rise and still no one can explain what exactly I'm paying for...

truefan 7 years, 9 months ago

We are supposed to be paying for a new business school since the one we take classes in is, to say the least, out dated. This is long over due.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Differential Tuition was never under any circumstances ever to be used to pay for a new building. Raising money for a new building is the responsibility of the Dean and Fuerst couldn't raise a dime for a new building, despite being hired for his alleged fundraising ability.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Well, the economy didn't help matters with that either.

hbjayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Dear Taxpayers and Hard Working Americans:

Want to know the difference between private industry and civil service?

LJ World: "Fuerst, who will remain on the faculty, was named dean in June 2000 after serving as associate dean of Texas A&M’s Lowry Mays School of Business. His tenure is the second-longest of any of KU’s business school deans."

Dean Fuerst, you are fortunate to have the ivory tower protection. Teach your business students a lesson and leave the University for failing to have proper control and oversight of the differential tuition. I can only imagine what the comments about you will soon say on after they put you out to pasture in the classroom until you reach the minimum retirement age. Booooooo . . . .

KU_cynic 7 years, 9 months ago

Minimum retirement age? There is no such thing at KU for faculty members.

Lots of faculty I know appear to be planning to leave feet first on a stretcher rather than retiring.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow, are there any honest people working for KU? I'd shake down everybody if was the FED.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 9 months ago

Was this guy teaching business ethics by chance? LOL

yankeevet 7 years, 9 months ago

Just another crook.........and so many.........

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Fired on a wednesday? Without even completing the differential tuition review? Something else has to be out there.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Man, I can't wait till the MBA students start looking into the government mishandling of funds. They will have a heyday with about an entity that doesn't spend the money the way they should

mysterion 7 years, 9 months ago

MOT, this IS the government mishandling funds... the University is a state institution. But you are right, it does seem to be a trend. No wonder why, it's taught by example at our Universities.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

cont...or the way they say they will.

sorry, just had to install a little light humor

Kontum1972 7 years, 9 months ago

wow this is about the 4th picture they have put up here....each one a little more improved...can we see one with numbers on the left side.

hungryhustler 7 years, 9 months ago

his upper "jaw" looks weird. like too small for the face.

minordonor 7 years, 9 months ago

Good riddance. But why does he have to stay a full year, he has already screwed the school up enough.

Thunderdome 7 years, 9 months ago

While this is a good start, there are still a number of things that need to happen: 1. Full restoration of the DT advisory committee, periodic financial reporting, and strict adherence to the covenants of the DT compact. 2. Replacement of the Dean and Associate Dean with honest, competent, and forward-thinking individuals. 3. A full accounting of DT expenditures to date.

While it is important to focus on the way forward, the students need to know exactly what has happened to their $35+ million over the last six years. It is only through complete transparency, regardless of the outcomes, that trust can be restored.

cmbj 7 years, 9 months ago

Mother of three is so oblivious to the facts that the only thing I can conclude is she must really be Mrs Feurst or perhaps his daughter.

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