D2L + The Citadel = Conflict of Interest? - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

D2L + The Citadel = Conflict of Interest?

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By Valencia Wicker
vwicker@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – When Doug Warner got involved with the Citadel's private investigation into the college's operation, he says he was honored. But, Warner's involvement raised questions since he is also the director of development for Darkness 2 Light, a child sex abuse prevention program.

"There were five or six different groups that focused on different kind of issues on campus. The one that I served on happened to do with child protection, sexual harassment, equality in gender and race," said Warner.

The Citadel has had a partnership with D2L for the last six years.

In 2006, the college made D2L training a part of its curriculum for teacher education, counseling, literacy education and educational leadership majors. But, after the Skip Reville case, the college asked a committee to review ways to improve.

"It was a group of professionals primarily representative of the Citadel that really took this job seriously. They did what I would say was a great job of looking into all aspects and try to come up with best practices from other organizations and institutions to address each one of those categories."

Citadel officials say the committee was a compilation of alumni, faculty, staff and police.

The question is: Was there a conflict of interest for Warner to be involved in the investigation?

"If I had an agenda, [it] could have been perceived that way but, I think the committee would tell you and from my stand point, I really tried not to have that as a conflict," Warner said.

On Wednesday, The Citadel announced a $24,000 partnership with D2L to train all of the college's faculty, staff and students.

"I almost laid back and never really talked about Darkness 2 Light training," Warner said. "We talked about the requirement for training and, then I allowed the committee to kind of go, ‘what are the best practices?'."

The Citadel officials stressed that the new partnership is an "extension" of what's already been established, and that the program is a "good thing".

Warner said he was one of four people on the committee focused of sexual abuse issues.

ABC News 4 attempted to get in touch with other committee members, but was unable to before air time.

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