Sixteen more international students suspended in grade-tampering scandal

Thursday, November 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Sixteen more international students have been suspended for their alleged involvement in a grade-tampering scandal at Tulsa Community College, officials announced.

That brings to 73 the number of foreign students suspended from the school during a five-month period, Lauren Brookey, TCC vice president of external affairs, said Wednesday. The scandal was discovered in May.

David Guthery, a regent at the college, said he may call an emergency board meeting to ``get up to speed'' on the school's investigation. A regents committee was briefed by school attorney Tom Vogt and TCC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom McKeon in September.

``I'm not being critical of the administration's handling of this problem, but I don't think I know all there is to know about it,'' Guthery said. ''. . . The (TCC) regents want to be more involved, and we want to be briefed better on what's occurring.''

The regents want to know why immigration officials haven't moved on deportation proceedings for students who lose their visa privileges by being expelled, Guthery said. Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service have said rounding up the students isn't a priority.

Guthery said he will suggest an emergency meeting in the next few days or request an executive session during the Nov. 14 regents' meeting at TCC Northeast. All the suspended students are from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and possibly other Middle Eastern countries.

``These sixteen students were suspended once our confidence level was satisfied that there were reasons for such action,'' Brookey said. ``It has been a time-consuming process to find out what happened, and we have been diligent in that regard.''

The probe began in the registrar's office at TCC Northeast and was expanded to include TCC counseling and testing services.

One former TCC employee has been charged with two felony counts of alteration of electronic records. Police have questioned two others about their alleged involvement.