Former Global Leadership Center Director Will Not Have Contract Renewed

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Ohio University has decided to not renew the employment contract of the director of Ohio University’s Global Leadership Center following an investigation regarding use of funds. However, the investigation didn’t appear to find any wrongdoing on the administrator’s part.

In a letter dated March 3, Greg Emery was notified that his appointment to the position of director of the Global Leadership Center was not renewed. Emery was placed on paid administrative leave on Oct. 14, 2014, “pending the outcome of an investigation regarding allegations of inappropriate conduct,” according to a memo to Emery from Lorna Jean Edmonds, vice provost of Global Affairs and International Studies at Ohio University. Emery will remain on paid leave through June 30.

According to a memo dated March 3 from Mike Courtney and Julie Campbell of OU’s human resources department to Colleen Bendl, OU’s chief human resource officer, they state that they were given the charge of investigating complaints against Emery and his receipt of cash payments from students travelling with the May 2014 Vietnam Study Abroad program and Emery’s “conduct and supervision during the Vietnam trip and during university sponsored retreats at Burr Oak State Lodge.”

Courtney and Campbell relied up the work of Jeff Davis, chief audit executive with OU’s internal audit department. The memo states that Davis “found no evidence that cash collected was not used as intended.”

Regarding the complaints surrounding Emery’s conduct and supervision during the Vietnam trip and at the Burr Oak Lodge retreats, there was a lack of cooperation from the original complainants and a “lack of participation by the remaining pertinent witnesses,” according to the March 2 memo.

“As a result, we have concluded our inquiry due to lack of information,” it concludes.

Concerns were expressed after Emery requested a general fee of $150 be provided in cash from the 19 students who took part in the 2014 Vietnam study abroad program. In Davis’ audit, he found that the cash collected from the students was appropriately deposited with Nhu Trang University in Vietnam on May 13, 2014.

However, Davis did write that the collection of cash directly from students by Emery was not the preferred method.

“Ohio University policy does not appear to have been strictly followed in this case,” Davis wrote on Dec. 8, 2014. “Dr. Emery stated he was not aware of the policy and this was not the first time cash had been collected in this manner for the Vietnam trip…The collection of cash directly from students should be eliminated where possible. In cases where the host university requests payment in cash, a program advance should be requested by the program director.”

Prior to the investigation, Emery was highly regarded in his performance evaluations, according to documents in his personnel file obtained by The Messenger.

Under the university’s grievance policy, Emery could appeal his termination. Emery had served as an instructor and director of OU’s Global Leadership Center since Sept. 1, 2000, and was earning a salary of $84,545 at the time he was placed on administrative leave.