September 5, 2008

CMU Forms Committee to Investigate Heinz Degree Granting

By Bill Zlatos

Carnegie Mellon University announced today the formation of a four-member committee to review the status of an improperly-awarded master's degree that led to the resignation of the dean of the Heinz School for Public Policy and Management.

The committee consists of Al Blumstein, the J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research and a former dean of the Heinz School; Joel Tarr, the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy and former acting dean of the school; Dick Tucker, interim dean of student affairs and the Paul Mellon University Professor of Applied Linguistics; and Rick Stafford, a distinguished service professor and alumnus of the Heinz School.

The panel, chaired by Tarr, was formed after the university learned that former Dean Mark Wessel approved giving the student more credits for transfer classes and independent study than the university allows. The student, whom the university would not identify for privacy reasons, received a master's degree from the Heinz School in 2004.

The committee will examine whether any changes are needed in the degree-granting process at the Heinz School and the past five years of degrees granted by the school to confirm that this was an isolated case.

When the committee completes its work, its report and recommendations will be given to Acting Dean Ramayya Krishnan, the university president, provost and board of trustees. A summary of the report will be given to students and faculty of the Heinz School.

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