Editorial: Federal relations

A former GW engineering professor was arrested Tuesday for allegedly embezzling over $600,000 in federal funds from a program on GW’s Virginia Campus. The University uncovered the plot and launched an internal investigation, albeit well into the scheme. After an aggressive effort to bring the alleged offender to justice, the University must make a concerted effort to convince the federal government that their dollars are being put to good use at GW.

Federal funding represents a significant opportunity for GW as an institution. The research opportunities on the Virginia Campus, 80 percent of which are funded by federal dollars, show that GW is not merely a liberal arts university but also a comprehensive research institution significantly contributing to American society. It is essential the University continue to demonstrate that it is serious about ensuring the integrity of those funds.

Scandals such as these can put a significant strain on the relationship between GW and the federal government, even if the University is not culpable in the alleged offense. Worse, if found negligent in this case, the University could lose the opportunity for future federal grants. GW should demonstrate that this is a freak occurrence and take pains to demonstrate that all other federal funds are currently used appropriately and will be in the future.

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