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Monday, December 05, 2022
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Denied FOIL request indicates Engineering Professor Matthew Burge is under investigation by UB

Burge was suddenly removed as an instructor from all his classes in October

Professor Matthew Burge answered a phone call from The Spectrum late last month but hung up after learning he was speaking with a Spectrum editor.
Professor Matthew Burge answered a phone call from The Spectrum late last month but hung up after learning he was speaking with a Spectrum editor.

Engineering professor Matthew Burge, who was abruptly removed as an instructor from all his classes in October, appears to be under investigation by the university, according to a Freedom of Information Law FOIL request filed by The Spectrum

The Spectrum filed a FOIL request with the university asking for documents related to an investigation into Burge. UB denied the request, but stated that “records pertaining to an investigation into an alleged violation are exempt” because those records would “constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and represented “inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not final agency policy or determinations.” At no point did the university say that such documents didn’t exist.

John DellaContrada, a university spokesperson, told The Spectrum late last month that Burge was still a UB employee and that, in general, “the university is committed to investigating all potential violations of UB’s policies on consensual relationships and nepotism.” DellaContrada said the university wouldn’t comment on “personnel matters” or “rumors or allegations” and did not say whether UB was investigating Burge specifically for violating a university policy. 

Burge answered a phone call from The Spectrum late last month but hung up after learning he was speaking with a Spectrum editor. 

The Freedom of Information Law allows anyone to request government documents from New York State governmental entities like UB, although certain categories of documents, like those related to ongoing investigations, are exempt. 

Grant Ashley is the managing editor and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the managing editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science and (mediocre) Spanish double major. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on Twitter @Grantrashley. 

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