Florida Professor Removed From Teaching After Allegations That He Gave Students As in Exchange For Charity Donations

ucf_seal-svgucf_horizontal_logo-svgUniversity of Central Florida adjunct psychology Professor Kenneth Vehec, 57, has been removed from teaching after the school determined that he had exchanged As for donations to a charity.

Vehec’s assistant organized a sorority poker tournament to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.was accused through an ethics hotline of telling his psychology students they could receive an automatic 100 percent grade on the final five-page paper if they donated $100 to the fundraiser.  He allegedly also offered a later chance for students to skip the final paper if they donated $25 in November.

Vehec denied the allegations but the university found against him and concluded that “Dr. Vehec was counseled that his behavior was inappropriate . . . He will not be given adjunct teaching duties in the future.”

Vehec has been previously recognized for novel and engaging teaching techniques.  He has also been very active in helping wounded veterans as this video explores.

The controversy reminded me of my time at the University of Chicago when one of my professors would always insist that it was more efficient to sell grades in a market system than rely on performance-based grades.  Of course, the charity element was not exactly part of the wealth maximizing approach to the grade market.

30 thoughts on “Florida Professor Removed From Teaching After Allegations That He Gave Students As in Exchange For Charity Donations”

  1. I got an A in one class because I was the only student that knew Ma Joad was from The Grapes of Wrath.

    1. Wasn’t she a nurse or something??? Or was that William Holden from Salinger’s Frankie and Johnny? Sometimes all this pop culture stuff just runs together. I do remember reading another book by Seinfeld, called The Axe of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. Which IIRC posited that Excalibur was really a battle-axe or something like that. Which my father had. The book, not the axe. He had another really good one called Arthur Rex by some guy called Harrison Bergeron(???)

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  2. Reminds me of my Philosophy 101 class in 1969. The university had hired a long haired, plaid work shirted, logging booted, Phd from Berkeley to liven up the place. His first move was to dispense with Aristotle, Socrates, Derrida, etc and bring in pals from other universities to Gestalt us. We retired to a mansion that had been given to the university by a wealthy alum. There the girls were promised to be all sorted out if they would sleep with the professors. Students sorted each other out as well. We all got A’s. Fritz Perls died a few months later.

  3. OK, sooo I have been up all night, and am going loopy. So let me tax my brain and see if I can get enough synapses firing to do an Irish Poem about this guy. Who seems to be a good egg. Grade A.

    Making The Grade???
    An Irish Poem by Sleepy Fromm

    There once was a fellow named Ken-
    And guess what he won’t do again?
    He won’t give a grade,
    Based on donations made. . .
    ‘Cause some rotten snitch turned him in!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. Charity is a new one. Thanks for the report.
    Now I can say, “I have heard it all”. 😆

  5. This particular university is in the nature of a business plan over a place of higher education. The student faculty ratio looks obscene because UCF saves money (and makes money) by hiring perhaps ¼ the number of faculty it should have for a school of its size. Instead the school uses adjunct faculty.

    Hey, how’s that working out for you?

  6. I had a math teacher friend who used to give A’s for burritos. This was high school.

      1. Oh, I will take the hint, and try:

        Bray To The Porcelain God???
        A Short Doggerel by Squeeky Fromm

        I would if folks should be clue’d. . .
        Regarding cheap Mexican food.
        Like that meat incognito
        That sits in burrito. . .
        For Alas! The poor Gringos don’t know
        The diminutive form of “burro”…

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        (It would have been tighter but I am being nibbled hard by kittens, right now.)

  7. “Some years, no decades ago a Professor at UC Berkeley in California was giving students A’s if they showed up or nought IF they were black. I heard him being interviewed on KGO Radio and he defended his position this way, “Paybacks for the years of poor education an I will continue to do so.” — Michael Aarethun

    Was it ‘some years’ or ‘decades ago’? Your reference to time seems confused; suggesting that the passage of ‘some years’ are the same as decades; indeed this might be so — but if so, in this particular case, can we trust your quote given to the Professor, especially given your ‘nought.’

  8. Some years, no decades ago a Professor at UC Berkeley in California was giving students A’s if they showed up or nought IF they were black. I heard him being interviewed on KGO Radio and he defended his position this way, “Paybacks for the years of poor education an I will continue to do so.”

    At Bemidji State College now a University a football coach who also taught bowling. Students who attended got a lot of practice but no A’s nor B’s. A’s went to football players, B’s to players in other sports and cheerleaders – literally. the rest of us got C’s.

    Such practices are not unusual not that hard to find out about.

    On any campus there is more than one source of pop quiz, mid term and end of course exams. All that was needed in most cases besides the Five or Ten dollars per subject was a sequence list of letters and numbers. OR you could study the test and actually learn something.

    With one or two exceptions. Hilldale in Michigans being one of them

    Just imagine if you only had to study for half your course load? The time spent was sufficient to make a decent grade.

    After two years I went into the Army as a volunteer and finished up required courses by taking End Of Course Tests. Passing grade was 25% correct on the premise the student had been out of school and that meant a loss of immediate fingertip memory.. It was also well known that 30% of the answers were “C” which made it not C for Chance.

    For the rest of it I went into an off campus program called External Degree Completion. For that I could submit results from any College or University. How to ensure that? I sat in for students for pay when they couldn’t show up for lectures. Paid attention and gained access to the final test. Then took the exam later.

    The Masters was NOT that easy.

    In any case Frank Zappa was right. If you want to get laid go to college. If you want an education go to the library.

    And keep takinig all the no charge courses available ont he internet.

    I’m now listening to one on Descarte and Prior Certainty of Consciousness He also coined I think therefore I want and it’s application to modern thought. The originator however was Augustine inventor of ‘indulgences.’

    It’s not a good defense in fact no defense at tall but this Professor could say, “I was only doing what everyone does.” It’s called A Nuremberg Defense. It is an admission of guilt with a plea for clemency. He will not get it as those who are judging him are doubtless covering for them selves. One reason Congress doesn’t pursue certain subjects in their investigations.

    1. Heck, I used to do papers for friends, if it was a subject I was interested in. One of them, now a teacher, never would have made it out of college if it wasn’t for me. Sooo, if I am ever on a Wanted Poster, I know I can hide out at her house. She owes me. One weekend, I spent hours pouring thru The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for her. Did you know some of the Crusaders were just the trash The Powers That Were wanted to get rid of? Sooo, they sent them off to fight in arab lands. Anyway, she used to get me booze and into bars when I was still too young. Unless it was in a little bar near where I lived, where I started getting in at age 16 with a really good fake driver’s license I made. But the bars around college were a lot more onto tricks like that, and the cops would actually bust them for selling to minors. Sooo, she was having an affair with one of the bartenders at one of the bars, and my ID was pretty good, so they could have legitimately been taken in by me. Oh, I digressed.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

          1. Very snarky and the greatest writer of prose in the English language second only to Shakespeare. His snarkiness pales only to Voltaire.

    2. Michael, are you listening to one of The Teaching Company’s courses? I really like the variety of courses and the professors are excellent. Also Michael Sandel’s class on Justice is interesting. http://justiceharvard.org/

      So much free stuff online now it’s fabulous for continuing ed…

  9. Just to entertain some thinking, would these donations to charity by students be considered tax deductible since they are receiving an economic benefit outside the tax system for making the contribution?

    For charity auctions AFAIK, as an example, the deductible part of the amount paid for the item is the money paid in excess of the fair market value of the item. So what would one establish as the fair market value of a 100% test score or the ability to skip a chapter?

    Moreover does this deduction imperil the tuition tax credit?

    It is likely not part of the wealth maximizing approach our host mentions, but any deduction one can find is a good thing. No need to lose out by improper tax preparation.

    1. As a practical matter, the IRS is highly unlikely to audit a return over a $100 charitable deduction. Plus, it is highly unlikely that college students are going to have the income/deductible expenses necessary to itemize their deductions in the first place, said itemization which is required to claim a charitable contribution.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  10. Well, we’re busily paying black women to have illegitimate babies, paying Mexicans to sneak into our country illegally, paying white lawyers to obstruct justice by unnecessarily delaying executions, and now – even paying thugs to not commit violent crimes. Sooo, is this really so bad? Besides, it isn’t like most college students are really learning anything important anyway.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. i before e except after c. Pay the buglar. The guy who blows the horn. Florida. Hmm. Florida and college or universities. Hmm. Governor who shaves his head but can not shave his face right.
    Florida– a state full of New Yorkies on the East Coast and mid westerners on the West Coast. West side is better. If you live there, send your kids to college in another state. And vote the Governor out. And vote Rubio out. And do not let Trump build a hotel there.

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