The dean who oversees “Justice Studies” at San Jose State University announced that he is stepping down less than a month after the Investigative Unit exposed problems with an internal investigation into inappropriate spending in the department. Chief Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski reports in a story that aired on June 12, 2014.
The fallout continues at San Jose State—first a department head was caught using university funds for personal expenses. Now his boss, the dean overseeing that department, is stepping down.
Charles Bullock, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, announced to colleagues in an email last month that as of July 1 he will no longer serve as dean and that he will be “retreating to the faculty.”
This move comes less than a month after the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit exposed problems with the university’s investigation into the misuse of an unauthorized off-campus checking account by the former chair of the Justice Studies department, Dr. Mark Correia.
“Dean Bullock will be returning back to faculty starting in the fall and will resume his activities as a faculty member at the university,” said Andy Feinstein who holds the second most powerful position at the university as provost.
Feinstein could not discuss the reason for Bullock’s sudden departure because of personnel matters. According to sources, Feinstein met with Bullock in the days following the NBC Bay Area investigation. Feinstein declined to say whether Bullock resigned or was forced out.
Students, faculty and staff raised concerns about the university’s internal review of Correia’s misuse of a university checking account that held student funds. The Finance department concluded that “no fiscal impropriety” occurred, despite Correia’s admission that he made nearly $7,000 in what he described as inadvertent personal charges, which he later reimbursed.
“I am wondering what is going on in the administration’s head and how they justify their inaction,” said Sang Kil, an associate professor in the Justice Studies department.
Bullock said that he was satisfied with the scope of the university’s investigation, and that if he wasn’t, he would have asked for a more thorough investigation. A deeper investigation is exactly what university president Mohammad Qayoumi called for in the days following the NBC Bay Area investigation.
“I don’t think we are happy about what unfolded in the Justice Studies,” Feinstein said. “The president and I both agree the initial investigation was too narrow and not thorough enough and I think that is one of the primary reasons the president has requested from the Chancellor’s office a complete investigation of what occurred in Justice Studies.”
On May 15, a day following the NBC Bay Area investigation, Qayoumi called in special auditors from the California State University Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach to review the financial transactions in the Justice Studies department, look into contracts that former department head Correia awarded to close friends, and examine why the university issued a report that concluded “there were no fiscal improprieties.”
“It is clear Mark Correia inappropriately spent funds and the university resources,” Feinstein said, “and that’s why I want to know what else occurred in Justice Studies and how we are going to address the issues that happened.
The auditors have not set a deadline but Feinstein said that the university will act quickly and make the findings of the report public.
Correia left San Jose State University a year ago for a dean’s position at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has not returned numerous phone calls and emails requesting comment.