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Colorado State Professor Faked a Job Offer to Increase His Salary

The former CSU professor is now facing a felony charge.

Brandon Walker

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Remember that time when your teachers, advisors, or peers told you to never lie on your resume or anything else? This is a clear example of why they were 100% right.

Former associate professor at Colorado State University (CSU), Brian McNaughton, is facing a criminal felony charge for making a false job offer from another institution in order to raise his pay.

The Chronicle reported that McNaughton, 40, sent a fake offer letter to his administration back in 2015. To sweeten the pot for him to stay, the university offered to increase his base salary by $5000. He accepted the offer.

Showing other offer letters from other colleges is normal, but they have to be real – of course.

“McNaughton now faces a criminal charge of attempting to influence a public official for allegedly falsifying an offer letter from the University of Minnesota,” The Chronicle said. “He has since resigned from his position at Colorado State.”

Dr. Dan Bush, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at CSU, said that he was “shocked and dismayed” that one of their own professors would lie to this extent to push his status. In July 2017, McNaughton apologized to Janice Nerger, the CSU Dean of Natural Sciences, in a letter for making “a very bad decision.”

McNaughton went on to say that a variety of factors – such as financial and marital problems – heavily influenced his judgement, continuing that some of his own colleagues faked offers as well.

“It was openly stated that multiple former CSU faculty (now either dead or no longer affiliated with CSU) lied about an outside offer as a mechanism to improve their salary,” McNaughton wrote in a letter to Nerger. “I’m not excusing it, and I’m not excusing my own actions, but these factors are real.”

A CSU representative confirmed that they had no proof of any other falsified documents. McNaughton’s lawyer, Erik Fischer, said the case had already been resolved.

“My client acknowledged the mistake,” Fischer said. “He fully paid back any and all money to CSU. Both sides thought the matter was closed.”

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Brandon Walker is a junior finance major at Temple University. He is a committed writer and jazz pianist. Brandon has written for The Temple News and is interested in a career in business and communications. He can be reached at brandon.walker@temple.edu.

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