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WVU faculty plan rare meeting in degree scandal
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    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Faculty members at West Virginia University were set to convene a rare meeting Wednesday to consider demanding for a second time that embattled President Mike Garrison resign over a master’s degree scandal involving the governor’s daughter.
    Last week, the 114-member Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly to demand Garrison resign. Garrison has refused, and Gov. Joe Manchin and the WVU Board of Governors that Manchin largely appointed have continued to support him.
    The special faculty meeting, known as the University Assembly, hasn’t convened since 1977. All of the university’s faculty members are invited to attend, so a vote calling on Garrison to leave office would be a louder cry of weakening confidence in Garrison at the university.
    Organizers believe they need 909 faculty members, or 51 percent of the total, for a quorum, said senator Judith Sedgeman. If there are fewer than 909, the meeting could still proceed, but its action may not be considered official.
    Final exams were given last week, but many faculty members remain on campus awaiting their final paychecks Friday and graduation ceremonies this weekend.
    While organizers plan to follow standard parliamentary procedure as much as possible, the conduct of the meeting is somewhat in flux, Sedgeman said. Because the body hasn’t gathered for more than 30 years, there’s little framework to guide it.
    After special rules are adopted, a resolution seeking Garrison’s ouster will be debated. Faculty members will vote by secret ballot.
    Last month, an independent panel concluded WVU administrators gave Mylan Inc. executive Heather Bresch an executive master’s of business administration degree she didn’t earn.
    The panel found that administrators added courses and grades to her incomplete transcript, retroactively awarding her the 1998 degree she’d been claiming on her resume.
    Bresch is a longtime friend of Garrison, and Mylan chairman Milan ‘‘Mike’’ Puskar, who has given tens of millions to WVU. While the panel found no evidence that Garrison directly interfered, it said the presence of his key staff at the decision-making meeting created ‘‘palpable’’ pressure.
    Provost Gerald Lang and business school Dean R. Stephen Sears have since resigned from their administrative posts to return to teaching, with minimal salary cuts. There have been no other disciplinary actions or reassignments.
    Garrison on Wednesday named E. Jane Martin, former dean of the School of Nursing for 15 years, to serve as interim provost, or the school’s chief academic officer. Martin has most recently served as senior adviser to the vice president for health sciences.

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