Revelations from the Justice Department’s recent “Operation Varsity Blues” admissions investigation—and resulting indictments—have rocked the college landscape. In its wake, all institutions of higher education should assess the implications of the scandal and reevaluate the compliance measures in place to prevent similar conduct on their campuses.
All changed last week with the DOJ’s announcement that it had again used the same mob-fighting toolkit to investigate and bring criminal charges against dozens of individuals from across the United States for bribery related to the undergraduate admissions process. This time the institutions involved are not just those that participate in major college athletics; these institutions include the most elite academic universities in America.
Thus, the bribery risk in higher education is no longer narrow, nor is it limited to a particular sector of the industry. All of higher education in America — an industry with hundreds of billions of dollars of economic impact annually — is on notice that it has or could potentially have a bribery problem.