McNaughton ran a biochemistry research group at CSU called the McNaughton Lab.
Tom Hays, Professor at University of Minnesota was the interim dean during the period of College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. He later denied ever writing the letter and express shock at the disclosure.
The Chronicle obtained a July 2017 letter that McNaughton sent to Janice Nerger, dean of Colorado State’s College of Natural Sciences. In the letter, he admits to “a very bad decision” caused by difficult financial problems.
Like false credentials, such matters are ordinarily handed as non-criminal matters. However in this case a fraudulent letter was allegedly in an effort to secure financial advantage.