August 13, 2008

Feds: More Felner 'threads' being investigated

Was it really just June 5 that the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents appointed Robert Felner chancellor of UW-Parkside, at a salary of $205,000, plus free housing and a tenured faculty position?

A lot of information about Felner has come out since then -- none of it good -- and now there's even more.

The Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), a newsweekly at the home of the University of Louisville, where Felner was dean of the College of Education and Human Development, today sums up the story so far, since his "resignation" from UW-Parkside barely a week before he was to take office, and the continuing federal investigation into alleged misappropriation of grant funds, allegations of harassment and mismanagement and Felner's email messages revealing growing (and apparently justified) paranoia.

Some of the new information to come out in reporter Christopher Hall's article includes:

--The feds are looking at more than a mishandled $694,000 No Child Left Behind grant, as first reported, or the funneling of $450,000 from it to a defunct non-profit: Said David Huber, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky: “There are other threads of this issue that are being investigated as well, and these other threads will continue to be investigated.” Huber said the investigation should be completed in four to six weeks.

--Twenty years ago, Felner was suddenly removed as director of clinical training in the psychology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Emmanuel Donchen, then head of psychology at the university in Illinois, the man who booted Felner, told reporter Hall that he's surprised no one — either at the University of Louisville, or at the University of Rhode Island, Felner’s previous place of employment — ever bothered to ask about Felner before hiring him. "Over the 20 years since he left … nobody has ever asked me a question about Felner until today,” Donchin says.

Left unsaid -- but obvious -- is the fact that nobody from the UW-Parkside search committee posed the question either.

Read Christopher Hall's entire article HERE.

And thanks, once again, to Page One Kentucky for keeping us apprised of the latest developments in this story.

Our compilation of The Felner Chronicles is listed on our main page.

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