Student paper breaks scholarship scandal
LOUISIANA — Information sought by a student newspaper at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge helped expose improperly awarded scholarships and led to the resignation of the school’s chancellor and his top assistant.
According to an investigation by the Daily Reveille, David Devillier, the chancellor’s assistant, gave minority and need-based scholarships to mostly white students from Devillier’s former fraternity.
In early September, the Daily Reveille received an anonymous copy of a university auditor’s report detailing the abuses. Apparently, the audit had been done at the request of an employee who suspected wrongdoing. The newspaper’s editor, Jason Bullock, responded to the information by conducting a month-long investigation Bullock did extensive interviews and filed requests for documents under the state freedom of information act.
The newspaper’s staff has been given credit for breaking the story by several local and national news organizations. “As long as the story was out, that’s what we were in it for,” Bullock said.
Devillier resigned weeks after the story broke. Chancellor William E. Davis left his position in early November, but the tenured professor will continue to teach at the school. The scholarship program has now been moved from the chancellor’s office to the financial aid office.
Louisiana, Louisiana State University, reports, The Daily Reveille, Winter 1996-97