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Esteemed judge to investigate claims against ASU economics department

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

PHOENIX – Arizona State University announced Tuesday it has hired a former Arizona Supreme Court chief justice to investigate a faculty member’s claims of unethical behavior in the economics department.

The appointment came in response to a call last week by the student government for an independent investigation of accusations made by clinical assistant professor Brian Goegan.

Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark Searle asked Ruth V. McGregor, who resigned from the Arizona Supreme Court in 2009, to complete her review by May 17.

In a letter to Undergraduate Student Government Tempe President Nikki Tran, Searle expressed confidence that Goegan’s claims will be disproven.

“While I feel strongly that each allegation is false, I agree with your view that there is a need for a third party to review the facts in question in a deliberative and thoughtful manner,” Searle wrote.

Searle added that ASU sought “someone with unimpeachable integrity and credentials who could be counted on to be fair, impartial and honest in the execution of this important task.”

Earlier this month, Goegan sent an email to students criticizing two policies of the economics department.

He alleged that students were required to pay a third-party company, Cengage, in order to turn in homework for ECN 211 and 212 classes.

He also claimed that the school had a quota to fail at least 30% of students in three economics courses: 211, 212 and 221.

Goegan already had been told his contract was not going to be renewed.

ASU has denied the accusations.

Searle asked McGregor, who obtained her law degree from ASU in 1974, to look into seven issues over a time spanning from 2014 to the present, including grade distribution in the classes in question and the terms of any grants or donations ASU has received from Cengage, an education and technology company.

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