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University Students Say A Grades Offered For Ticket Sales

November 22, 1988

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Four college students testified they were promised A grades in exchange for selling $100 worth of raffle tickets to raise money for a foundation headed by one of their professors.

The students from California State University, Northridge, testified Monday during an appeal to the state Personnel Board by Eleazu S. Obinna, a Pan- African studies professor who has been fired for his alleged involvement in the grade-selling scheme.

The appeals hearing was expected to continue through Wednesday on the suburban San Fernando Valley campus.

Obinna, a tenured faculty member who had taught at the university for 17 years, and Willie J. Bellamy, a first-year instructor, told students the only work required for an A grade in the course, ″Field Work in the African- American Community,″ was to sell 20 $5 raffle tickets for the United Crusade Foundation, according to testimony before Administrative Law Judge Byron Berry.

The four students said they were not required to attend class or complete any other assignments. They said they were told proceeds of the ticket sales would help the black community through work by the non-profit foundation headed by Obinna.

″Obinna told me later we would have other requirements since someone turned us in,″ said one of the students, LaTonya Carpenter.

The professor, who has been on paid leave since July pending appeal of his dismissal, has denied offering grades in return for raffle ticket sales. His attorney, Francis Smith, declined to comment on the case Monday.

Bellamy, who was not rehired after his first year of teaching at the campus, could not appeal because he was a part-time instructor, he said outside the hearing Monday. Bellamy also denied the students’ allegations.

Berry said he expects to announce a ruling in the case in about two months.

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