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March 21, 2012 at 5:02 PM

WWU reaches agreement with admissions director

Western Washington University has reached an agreement with its former admissions director, Karen Copetas, concluding that Copetas did not intentionally violate any statutes or university policies while she worked for the university.

The agreement also allows Copetas, who was in charge of admissions at WWU for 22 years, to resign.

Copetas was suspended from her job last fall after a finding by the school’s Equal Opportunity Office that she retaliated against an employee for filing a discrimination complaint. In December, she was fired after the university also found she awarded scholarship money in exchange for work and influenced the award of scholarships to relatives.

Copetas appealed the decision, saying she believed the university treated her unfairly. A decision had not been reached on the appeal, and it will now be dropped, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.

Under the agreement, Copetas will resign on June 30 of this year, collecting her salary until that time and working on assigned projects from an off-campus location. She makes $96,420 a year.

She’ll also be allowed to cash out her vacation and sick leave, and WWU will not oppose her application for unemployment insurance benefits, if she chooses to apply for them. WWU will pay Copetas and her counsel, Beth Terrell, $45,000. WWU will also pay for mediation costs charged by Teresa Wakeen, but Cocke said that under the terms of the agreement, he could not say how much that amount was or name the amount of her vacation and sick leave.

Under the agreement, WWU will describe Copetas as having “served with distinction.”

Comments | More in Education, General news | Topics: Western Washington University

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