Bresch claimed to have earned an MBA degree, but when a WVU investigation asked for evidence to support her claim, she had very little to show. Instead of backing off early and admitting error, Heather Manchin Bresch dragged WVU through months of the worst national public relations nightmare it had ever experienced.
The value of every single WVU diploma was denigrated by these events. Just imagine the new WVU graduate. They had worked hard for four years to start to make their way in the world, only to worry what job recruiters thought while reading about the academic scandal going on in Morgantown.
All of us who have earned our degree from WVU owe that investigatory committee a debt of gratitude for clearing things up and informing Heather Manchin Bresch and the world that no, she had not earned an MBA from WVU.
While WVU’s academic reputation was being tarnished in articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other national media outlets over the scandal, then Governor Joe Manchin said very little except to encourage and enable his daughter’s ill-chosen path, even when the truth of the matter was increasingly clear: his daughter simply hadn’t done the work to complete her degree.
To make matters worse, when the investigation resulted with the finding that the Governor’s daughter’s claim of having earned an MBA degree was invalid, Manchin tried to shift the blame. “All I can hope for as a parent,” he said, “is that WVU’s leaders will correct whatever problems that led to this situation so that no other student will have to go through this kind of ordeal in the future.” (“Criticism for Degree to Governor’s Daughter,” by Ian Urbina, New York Times, April 25, 2008.) This is the same parent who couldn’t remember attending his own daughter’s WVU graduation.
Now, if Manchin is really worried about this happening to another West Virginia student, I think he can rest easily. After all, the vast majority of parents who send their children to WVU would never encourage them to drag the rest of the student body, professors, staff, and alumni through the grinder for months without serious evidence to support their claim. That is an arrogance reserved only for a special few.
Moreover, it is my opinion, as well as the opinion of others, that this scandal was a significant reason why the Atlantic Coast Conference rejected WVU’s bid to become a member of that conference.
After all this mess, the only people who came out unscathed where Joe Manchin and his daughter, Heather Bresch, who is now making a multi-million dollar salary as CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Many people lost their jobs in the aftermath. WVU President at the time of the scandal, Mike Garrison, resigned his position along with then Provost Gerald Lang. In addition, the business school Dean during the scandal, Steve Sears, stepped down along with then Associate Dean Cyril Logar. This ordeal continues to make headlines. Just the other day, federal district judge, Frederick Stamp, entered an order against then Dean Sears’ and Associate Dean Logar’s claims that Manchin’s handpicked WVU administrators had deprived them of their legal rights. Stamp’s ruling appears to be based on technicalities rather than the substantive merit of Sears’ and Logar’s claim. On January 31, 2012, Sears and Logar filed an appeal of Stamp’s ruling with the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA where this matter will now be heard.
If you find Senator Manchin’s behavior unsettling, you are not alone. There is a choice this year that many have to make.
Elizabeth Solomon Raese Bachelor of Science in Business Administration West Virginia University, 1977
The Board didn't require the She resign, which is another reason there is zero credability on the street for management! One has to wonder what else has been pushed under the rug. Heather should be relieved of her job.