A former Louisiana State University faculty member has filed suit against the School of Art, saying the school's director fired her after she blew the whistle on the unlawful collection and use of student course fees. Margaret Herster, in the suit filed Tuesday, also said school director Rod Parker denied her equal pay and advancement because she is a woman.
Herster wrote a letter to LSU officials in February 2012 stating she believed Parker and others in the art school faculty were aware of the unlawful collection of fees and misappropriated student money.
In the letter, she said "an average of $28,000 annually" in fees was being charged to School of Art students that was never authorized by the LSU Board of Supervisors or state Legislature, as is required by law.
The school responded by carrying out an internal audit, completed and released Jan. 10, 2013. The audit confirmed Herster's claims and revealed more than $20,000 in purchases were made with student fee revenue that violated LSU policies.