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ISU President Al Bowman on the Ethics Quiz

Dear Executive Inspector General Wright:

Recently, hundreds of Illinois State University employees received a letter from your office notifying them that their governmental ethics training certificates of completion were invalidated on the grounds that they completed the training in an inappropriately fast period of time.

As a result, my staff and I have received numerous complaints from university personnel regarding the tone of the notice as well as the poorly communicated provision that the testing time was monitored. I, along with employees of this academic community, am offended that one would be penalized for the ability to read and comprehend information quickly when these same skills are a necessity to succeed in an environment of higher learning.

The only failure is that the Inspector General’s office exhibited an alarming lack of judgment and common sense. In my 28 years as a professor, I have never given a failing grade to a student for taking an exam too quickly. It is groundless and insulting to accuse employees of cheating simply because they finished the exam in less than 10 minutes.

Please note that while disappointed in how some aspects of this training have been administered, I recognize the importance of the training and appreciate all good-faith efforts to educate the Illinois State University community on the provisions of the State Employees Ethics Act. As a University, we will continue our work to ensure compliance with the Act.

Al Bowman
President, Illinoia State University