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Lawprofs Gone Bad:

From Iowa Supreme Court Att'y Discip. Bd. v. Kress (Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission, Mar. 5, 2007):

[Finding of Fact] (10) On the evening of April 19, 2004, Respondent [Kenneth Kress, then a tenured Iowa Law School professor] distributed [class] evaluations to 10 students enrolled in his Mental Health Seminar. Later that evening, after the students had completed the evaluations, Respondent reviewed the questionnaire responses and then substituted three evaluations he had completed for three negative student evaluations. Additionally, Respondent altered two other evaluations by erasing the pencil marking of the "(3) Average" circle in Question 2, on teacher effectiveness, and filling in the "(5) Outstanding" circle on both forms....

(12) [The] Registrar at the law school, testified that on April 30, 2004 Respondent told her that he was anxious for [the dean] to see his student evaluations because he knew he had done a lot better on his evaluations that spring than he had in the fall....

(13) [A week later, when the matter was being investigated, Kress] initially responded that "his RA had been involved and it was possible that he had done something or there were others who had keys to the office." But when asked, he said he had no reason to believe anyone else would have done this. He did not admit or deny changing the student evaluations, but asked what would happen next....

The Grievance Commission is recommending that Kress be suspended from the Iowa bar, though he would be eligible for reinstatement in a year. (Kress acknowledged the falsification, but defended himself by pointing to his longstanding bipolar disorder, and claiming that his actions were the result of that disorder.) Kress resigned from his tenured position in January 2006, but the Des Moines Register reports that Iowa has given him a $226,000 severance package, plus other benefits, "to avoid 'the expense and time of further proceedings with the Faculty Judicial Commission.'"

Thanks to Paul Caron (TaxProf Blog) for the pointer.

UPDATE: I've updated the post to make clear that it's undisputed that Kress has suffered from mental illness. The Commission concluded, however, that the illness cannot excuse his actions, and that in any event his actions were not caused in substantial part by his illness.

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