Former dean at ITT Educational Services claims she lost job for trying to stop grade falsification

Michelle Keahey Feb. 29, 2012, 12:51pm

Academic dean files lawsuit claiming her termination was due to refusal to falsify student records
By: Michelle Keahey
New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - A dean of ITT Educational Services claims she lost her job due to her protests regarding falsification of students' grades and attendance records.

Kenya D. Crocken-Waugh filed suit against her former employer on Feb. 24 in federal court in New Orleans.

Crocken-Waugh was hired by the defendant in March 2004 as ITT's Dean of Academic Affairs for its St. Rose campus.

The former dean states that ITT instructors were told to falsify their student grades and attendance records so that the students could remain enrolled at ITT and maintain eligibility for federal and state subsidized student financial aid.

Crocken-Waugh states that she tried to stop the school's falsification of grade and attendance records by disclosing and threatening to disclose that the falsification was an illegal course of conduct that would result in ineligible students obtaining federal and state financial aid. She refused to approve any of ITT's requested attendance and grade changes until the responsible professor verified that the records were inaccurate.

She states that she was terminated in Feb. 2011 due to her efforts to stop ITT from violating federal regulations. According to the lawsuit, after Crocken-Waugh's termination the school changed the official grade and attendance records of ITT students.

The defendant is accused of violating the False Claims Act by knowingly causing a false claim to be presented for payment and for knowingly causing false records to be made.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of wages, damage to professional reputation and loss of chosen profession, two times back pay, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Crocken-Waugh is represented by Metairie attorney Glenn C. McGovern. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00505

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