Higher Education and Government Investigations

Internal Investigations for Public and Private Colleges and Universities, Businesses, Agencies, and Authorities

Often, a prompt, thorough, and skilled internal investigation allows an institution to learn critical facts, regain the confidence of important constituencies, and pave the way for improved organizational performance. Prince Lobel is proud to have conducted many successful internal investigations in important and sensitive matters. The types of investigations we have conducted include:

Internal Investigations for Colleges and Universities

We have conducted internal investigations in both high-profile, and very public campus controversies, and in more behind-the-scenes disputes. Each requires great sensitivity to the unique needs of institutions of higher education and the various constituencies that may have an interest in the outcome (e.g., administration, faculty, students, alumni, donors, etc.).

Case Study: Investigation for Brandeis University

In 2018, Prince Lobel was hired by the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University to conduct an in-depth independent investigation following Brandeis’ termination of its longtime men’s basketball coach amid charges of racism and abusive behavior towards his players. Prince Lobel was asked to review the University’s systems, climate, and culture of handling complaints, and to recommend actions and changes, including those related to personnel. Firm lawyers interviewed over 150 witnesses, including students, faculty, alumni, administrators, and staff. Two significant reports were issued that the University’s President chose to publish on the University’s website. The firm’s attorneys also met with the Board of Trustees to discuss both reports and the critical findings on the climate and culture on campus.

Other, non-public representative investigations for colleges and universities include the following:

  • Conducted an investigation regarding charges of disarray and animosity within an academic department
  • Investigated charges of racism at a major university’s soccer program
  • Investigated an allegation of bullying within a campus police department
  • Reviewed allegations of bullying and a coach’s alleged toleration for hazing on a team
  • Investigated a professor’s charge that his department’s reliance on critical student evaluations was the result of a culture of institutional racism
  • Looked into a professor’s complaint about disability discrimination
  • Investigated management practices within a campus police department
  • Reviewed a medical school’s protocols for reporting diagnostic information

Investigations for Businesses and Public Agencies/Authorities

Prince Lobel has a long history of conducting internal investigations for business, government agencies, and public authorities. Some representative matters are as follows:

  • Conducted an investigation of allegations of insider trading for a public biopharma company
  • Conducted a sexual harassment investigation for a prominent restaurant group, where the allegations were potentially explosive in the “Me Too” era
  • Conducted an investigation for a public authority concerning potential abuses in its minority enterprise contracting program
  • Reviewed a whistleblower’s allegations that a public company misrepresented information in its financial reports
  • Examined a manager’s reported use of racial epithets, for a private retail company
  • Conducted an ethics investigation for a public authority concerning a manager’s potential misuse of agency personnel and assets
  • Looked into allegations of improper billing practices for a professional services firm
  • Conducted an investigation for a health insurer regarding allegations that a manager made racially insensitive remarks to African-American subordinates
  • Conducted an investigation at the request of a large manufacturing company into sexual harassment allegations arising out of a failed consensual relationship between co-workers
  • Conducted an investigation at the request of a public authority into an allegation that an administrator made a racially insensitive remark during a heated exchange with a peer