Nome university workers placed on leave pending investigation

Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2002

NOME (AP) -- Two employees of the Northwest Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation at the campus.

The investigation was launched Jan. 31 after the office of the Dean of Rural Alaska received a phone call from a state trooper about allegations of criminal activity on the Nome campus.

UAF Chief of Police Terry Vrabec and members of the Office of Human Resources flew to Nome last week to investigate complaints of theft, assault, embezzlement, narcotics dealing and possession of pornography.

Carolyn Chapman, director of UAF's Office of Human Resources, accompanied Vrabec. She told the Nome Nugget that the complaints were serious enough that ''we felt we had to come personally and investigate the situation.''

Chapman and UAF police conducted interviews with campus faculty and staff.

While no accusation has been levied at any individual, campus director Michael Babb and physical plant operator David Antonsen-Csiki were placed on paid administrative leave.

Staff at the campus have been asked to refer all management questions to Bernice Jones, dean of the College of Rural Alaska, until an interim director can be appointed or Babb reinstated.

Both Chapman and Vrabec insisted that placing Babb and Antonsen-Csiki on leave was solely an administrative matter and not disciplinary.

Chapman said so far the investigation shows no basis for several of the allegations.

In the meantime, investigator Steven Goetz will remain on campus.

''He's here as a safety officer to assure the safety of the campus and property of the campus,'' Chapman said.

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