Daugavpils University council members resign after fraud scandal

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After suspected fraud at Daugavpils University, two members of the university council have written a notice for resignation, said the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) on January 31.

IZM indicated that Vita Balode-Andrūsa and Toms Torims had expressed their willingness to resign.

In the context of public information on the alleged fraud of €600,000 from the European Union (EU) structural funds, IZM has already requested Daugavpils University to provide explanations in connection with the ongoing criminal proceedings on possible fraud. IZM stresses that such action cannot be allowed in any Latvian educational institution or scientific institution. It means that there has been insufficient monitoring on the part of the Council of Daugavpils University.

The Minister for Education and Science, Anda Čakša (New Unity), said in an interview with Latvian Television that due to the criminal proceedings initiated, in order not to damage the reputation of higher education in general, the whole university council should resign.

Meanwhile, the management of Daugavpils University, with rector Irēna Kokina, does not think that this case would cast a shadow of doubt over the university council. Until the opposite has been proven, there is no need to fire it.

The position of deputy rector of Daugavpils University is still retained by Jānis Kudiņš, a fraud suspect, who has been dismissed by the Council of his own volition. Kudiņš denies his guilt in fraud with EU funds money.

Māris Bozovičs, interim chairman of the Daugavpils University Council, does not believe that this council should stop the work. On Tuesday, Bozovičs met with the management of the ministry, where financial risks were discussed in projects subject to criminal proceedings.

The next extraordinary meeting of the Daugavpils University Council will be convened in the near future.

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