Western Washington U Fires Admissions Director Of 21 Years

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Western Washington University has fired its longtime admissions director for what the university describes as a pattern of lack of professional judgment.

University officials said Karen Copetas retaliated against an employee, awarded scholarship money in exchange for work and influenced the award of scholarships to relatives.

Copetas, who has been admissions director at WWU for 21 years, has vigorously defended her decisions. She said WWU has treated her unfairly and has left her personal and professional life "in shambles." She has 30 days to appeal the decision internally.

WWU made the decision Friday to fire Copetas, a decision based on an internal audit, two Equal Opportunity Office employee complaints and a climate assessment, said Steve Swan, vice president for university relations. The decision also hinged on Copetas' oral and written responses to the complaints, in which there was a "denial of wrongdoing," he said.

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