(01/16/2008)
By Bob Weaver

West Virginia University's Faculty Senate is complaining that a state official shouldn't participate in an investigation over whether WVU gave Governor Joe Manchin's daughter a master's degree she didn't earn.

The Faculty Senate is also recommending three people independent of WVU and all state governmental entities to the committee.

Investigations by West Virginia government are generally internal, from the WV State Police to investigations about government wrongdoing.

The Senate is calling for the removal of Bruce Flack, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the state's Higher Education Policy Commission.

Flack, who was to chair the investigation, resigned from the committee Tuesday.

While officials declared they would conduct an "independent" investigation after allegations by a Pittsburgh newspaper raised the issue, the investigation has still been internal involving WVU employees.

The committee is charged with investigating the allegation that WVU officials rewrote records to award Heather Manchin Bresch an executive MBA in 1998, even though she only completed 22 of the required 48 credit hours.

Bresch, 38, works for Mylan Inc., a Canonsburg, Pennsylvania based pharmaceutical company with a lab in Morgantown.

Its chairman, Milan Puskar, is a Manchin benefactor who also donated $20 million to WVU in 2003.

Bresch has insisted she earned her degree.

WVU Provost Gerald Lang says the investigation should be conducted within WVU because it's an academic matter.


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