UW Oshkosh Ordered to Cover Foundation Debts

A federal bankruptcy judge is ordering UW-Oshkosh to pay $15 million to cover the debts of the school’s private foundation. This follows a financial scandal involving five building projects. 

Judge Susan Kelley ruled Wednesday that letters written by two former school administrators, promising to use university money to bail out the foundation, must be honored – as they constitute enforceable contracts. The foundation filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the building project loans. 

Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Thomas Sonnleitner have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of misconduct in office – as they are accused of illegally promising banks that the university would guarantee any debt the foundation couldn’t cover.