Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Misdeeds in the US higher education: Illegality versus corruption

Osipian, Ararat (2007): Misdeeds in the US higher education: Illegality versus corruption.

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Abstract

Corruption in higher education has long been neglected as an area of research in the US. The processes of decentralization, commoditization, and privatization in higher education rise questions of accountability, transparency, quality, and access. Every nation solves problems of access, quality, and equity differently. Thus, although prosecuting corruption in higher education is part of the legal process in every country, the ways in which legal actions are undertaken differ. This paper addresses the question: How is corruption in higher education understood and defined in legal cases, what particular cases receive more attention, and how these cases correlate with the major educational reforms, changes, and socio-economic context in the nation? Specifically, it analyses records of selected legal cases devoted to corruption in the US higher education. Decentralized financing of higher education anticipates cost sharing based in part on educational loans. The US higher education sector grows steadily, and so do opportunities for abuse, including in educational loans. The rapid expansion of education sector leaves some grey areas in legislation and raises issues of applicability of certain state and federal laws and provisions to different forms of misconduct, including consumer fraud, deception, bribery, embezzlement, etc. Higher Education Act, False Claims Act, and Consumer Protection Act cover corruption as related to the state and the public sector; corruption as related to client, business owner, and an agent; and corruption as related to consumer-business relations. However, the legal frame is simplistic, while the system of interrelations in the higher education industry is rather complex.

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