Stealing the public trust : a case of embezzlement at a community college Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6m311t51h

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  • The purpose of this study was to examine one case of embezzlement at one community college in order to assess the sociological effects of the embezzlement on that college. The research design for this study was qualitative using a case study approach. Although there was no attempt to generalize the study beyond the one community college under examination, individual readers may find that the study fits other cases with which they are familiar, and may find the study useful for their own institutions. The study sought to answer five research questions: (a) how was the embezzlement carried out; (b) how did the embezzlement go undetected for so long; (c) how was the embezzlement eventually discovered; (d) how have things changed at the institution since the embezzlement; and (e) who was significantly affected by the embezzlement and how were they affected? Public records were collected and examined to answer the first three research questions which provided the historical background and context for the study. Interviews with 20 participants comprising a representative sample of approximately 17% of the college's faculty, staff, administration, and board provided the answers to the last two research questions which revealed the sociological effects of the embezzlement. The study found that the embezzlement was a catalyst for a number of significant consequences to the college including the implementation of stringent internal controls; major damage to trust and credibility at all levels of the organization; negative impacts to the college's resources of both time and money; and damage to the reputation, credibility, and emotional well being of certain individuals within the college.
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