VIEW: Integrity

Within the last month a UND department chairman and a director have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

It’s a poor start to the semester at and the integrity of our university open to scrutiny.

On Aug. 6, UND Family and Community Medicine Department Chairman Robert Beattie was arrested for possession of child pornography.

A criminal complaint said Beattie had flash drive containing pictures and videos of child pornagraphy in his office located on campus in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Last week, Associate Director of Sustainability Randall Bohlman was caught in a prostitution sting by police when he agreed to meet with a fictitious prostitute at a hotel in Glenwood, Minn. The university confirmed both men are on paid administrative leave.

It is an unfortunate situation to see two active members of the UND community allegedly mixed up in illegal activities.

With two egregious accusations coming to light in the past month UND’s image has been damaged. It will take months or even years for that image to repair itself and who’s to say more crimes won’t happen in the future.

It is the university’s responsibility to protect the students by hiring reputable staff members.

To ensure a safe environment for all, the university should be more stringent in its hiring process.

We can’t help but wonder if this type of thing is common in other schools around the nation?

A quick Internet search shows crimes of this nature occur at other large colleges. Is this to be expected of a college of this size?

University faculty should be held to a high standard. The expectation should be that staff members are trustworthy role-models for the student body.

Who will the students turn to if they cannot trust those who are preparing them for life outside of college?

Prospective students should be worrying about which majors a potential school offers and whether its campus is the right fit to them, not whether or not the school’s faculty are potential sex criminals.

We have a lot of questions because we are concerned about the university and our peers. Moving forward, we hope that the university will only hire people of high integrity.