IUP dean reassigned after questionable spending

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Mark Correia, former dean of IUP’s College of Health and Human Services, allegedly misused approximately $35,000 in public funds, according to multiple reports.

Last week, the Associated Press reported $32,000 was spent in a consulting contract for Correia’s wife, Victoria Lynn Travis. Correia also spent more than $3,400 on a trip to Washington with a female instructor in April.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review originally investigated Correia’s expenses in December 2015.

Effective Feb. 19, Correia will be reassigned to the position of “special assistant to the provost for curriculum development,” according to a statement from IUP President Michael Driscoll.

A year after he left San Jose State University and came to IUP, a 2014 inspection questioned Correia’s spending at the California school.

The appraisal found that Correia spent money from illegal off-campus college bank accounts to pay for electronics, massages, flowers, donations to Greenpeace and his parking tickets, according to the Tribune-Review.

The audit also found that Correia had a “conflict of interest” by hiring his then-girlfriend, Travis, as a vendor. The audit found $67,000 worth of expenditures with “no clear benefit” to the school’s programs and an additional $7,131 – which Correia reimbursed – in improper personal spending.

“Provost [Timothy] Moerland and I ask that you join us in thanking Dr. Correia for his work on behalf of the mission of the College of Health and Human Services,” the statement said. “We look forward to advancing the college’s progress.”

The current associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Mary Williams, will serve as acting dean during Correia’s reassignment.

According to the president’s statement, Moerland will consult with college faculty, staff members, students and other stakeholders before starting a search process for the next dean.

Michelle Fryling, executive director of communications and media relations, declined comment and instead referred to the statement made by Driscoll.

No further information about the possibility of an investigation or the choice for a permanent new dean is available at this time.