Sunday, February 16, 2003

NKU finance dept. chair resigns

3 profs also on 'mandatory leave' over allegations of plagiarism

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The chair of the Northern Kentucky University Finance Department in the College of Business has resigned, and three other professors in the school's business college have been placed on "mandatory leave" and further disciplinary action, including possible termination or suspension, because of allegations that they plagiarized and misrepresented research data.

Dr. Shailendra Vermastepped down from his position as chair of the department Thursday. He was adviser for NKU students majoring in finance and has published many articles in the areas of security issues, investments and international finance.

The three professors - Anju and Balasubramani Ramjee, a married couple who are both professors of finance, along with Richard Snyder, assistant professor of economics - have not yet resigned despite a yearlong investigation that found merit in the accusations against them.

Those three professors filed appeals, which Provost Dr. Rogers W. Redding denied.

Redding placed the three on paid leave after his denial of their appeal. Any further disciplinary action will first be reviewed by the faculty senate, a panel of professors.

Redding said there will be no interruption of classes as a result of the action.

"Our primary responsibility is to our students," Redding said. "I assure you that competent, qualified professors will pick up the course load and that the quality of education our students receive will in no way be affected by these personnel actions."

Redding also said he is not concerned about the accreditation of his program, should the professors ultimately be terminated.

"In the event that the professors are not at the university, we would have some time to backfill and make adjustments," he said.


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