Manchin’s daughter received no favoritism, WVU says; Mylan stands behind COO

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday that West Virginia University rewrote records that originally showed that Gov. Joe Manchin’s daughter had completed only half of the required course work to earn her MBA degree at WVU in 1998. WVU says a clerical mistake is to blame for the appearance that Heather Bresch received favorable treatment regarding her MBA.

The Post-Gazette started looking into Bresch’s background in October after she was named chief operating officer of Milan Inc, a pharmaceutical company based in Pittsburgh.  

University spokeswoman Amy Neil says Bresch’s records were corrected, but only after an investigation showed that information contained in the College of Business and Economics files were not properly recorded in WVU’s admission’s office a decade ago.  Neil says similar problems were discovered in the records of a couple of other students. 

Neil: “We have admitted to the Post-Gazette and to Ms. Bresch and to any students that were impacted that it was the College of Business and Economics’ error back 10 years ago. It was, whether it be the lack of electronic recording of grades or the way the College of Business and Economics reported their records to the Office of Admissions and Records. Obviously, it was not done in the proper fashion, and the university has admitted to those mistakes, have corrected those errors from back ten years ago. And it’s not the most perfect situation, but it had nothing to do with favoritism, had nothing to do with names. It was just a matter of making sure that our records were correct and accurate which the Dean ensured that they were.”  

The Post-Gazette article quotes unnamed classmates of Bresch’s who didn’t think she had finished her coursework in 1998. It also reports that the university had no record that she had paid for her missing classes, citing an unnamed source within the university.

The dean of WVU’s College of Business and Economics, Stephen Sears, refused comment to the Post-Gazette. He also has not returned a call to West Virginia Public Broadcasting seeking comment.

Mylan Inc. issued a statement Friday in Bresch’s support. It reads, in part, “Rather than relying on anonymous and unsubstantiated sources, Mylan has received confirmation from West Virginia University that Ms. Bresch received her MBA in December 1998. Ms. Bresch has the full respect and confidence of Mylan’s Board of Directors and management team.”   

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