OSU spends nearly $900 an hour on band probe
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University is paying nearly $900 an hour for work on an investigation studying the culture inside its marching band, according to documents released by the university this week.
The university is paying the David Vaughn Consulting Group $460 an hour and the Arent Fox law firm $425 an hour, according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/Zuxjim). Both groups were hired as part of an investigative task force led by former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery.
There is no maximum budget for Vaughn’s work. The July 25 deal requires Vaughn to submit monthly invoices to the university, which Ohio State did not immediately provide.
The university’s agreement to pay Arent Fox $425 an hour for its work is not to exceed $49,000, according to a July 31 contract. Ohio State officials provided both agreements in response to an Aug. 5 public-records request from the newspaper.
Ohio State did not provide a contract for Ernst & Young, which is being hired to collect data and measure change in the marching band.
The school requested Montgomery’s review after the July 24 firing of band director Jonathan Waters in the wake of a university investigation. The two-month probe concluded Waters knew about but failed to stop a “sexualized culture” in the band.
The newspaper reports university officials will release final costs when the investigation is completed.
OSU President Michael Drake told Montgomery to conclude the investigation and report findings by early October, but in a letter last week, Montgomery said she needs another four to six weeks. Her team has made “significant progress,” she wrote, and has interviewed 140 current and former band members.
Hundreds of former band members also have responded to an anonymous survey, Montgomery added, and her group has read hundreds of emails and letters from band alumni.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com