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Reeves disputes book claims

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - University of North Dakota choir director Anthony Reeves disputed claims Wednesday that he misrepresented himself as the primary author of a book.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - University of North Dakota choir director Anthony Reeves disputed claims Wednesday that he misrepresented himself as the primary author of a book.

Reeves said he wrote more pages in the textbook than any other contributor, but his name was erroneously omitted from the list of authors.

The misrepresentation claim is one of several allegations UND has presented in its recommendation to fire Reeves. He is appealing that recommendation in a hearing that began Nov. 7.

After nearly 50 hours of testimony since the hearing began, Reeves got a chance to speak Wednesday and testified for more than three hours.

His testimony was restricted to subjects specified by the faculty committee hearing the appeal.


On the subject of the book, Reeves said he was one of the primary authors and the only writer to receive royalty checks.

He has also provided written statements from the publishing company and another contributor verifying that Reeves' name was omitted in error.

Reeves also answered questions about two unauthorized purchases he's accused of making.

He said he charged more than $2,000 to his UND credit card for a student who went on a European choir tour.

The student was approved for a loan to cover the cost of the trip, but did not receive the money by the deadline. After the student received the money, Reeves took the student's money and paid the bill.

Reeves said he also charged more than $400 to buy two tuxedo jackets, one for the same student and one for him. UND provides clothing for choir members to wear during performances, Reeves testified.

The student had a jacket that was tattered and needed to be replaced within a week of a performance. Reeves' jacket was also worn and getting too small, so he replaced both of them using a purchase order.

UND says both purchases were unauthorized. UND's attorney, Julie Evans, produced the university's policy on credit card purchases, which Reeves signed, that says violating the policy can result in discipline or termination.


The student involved in both charges is Phil Letvin, a student Reeves and his partner tried to adopt. Reeves says his homosexuality and the adoption attempt are undercurrents in his firing.

Reeves also disputed the allegation that he negatively affected UND's recruitment abilities.

He said his philosophy is that the best recruitment tool is to produce good choirs, which is what he's done in his two years at UND.

"You get quality and then you attract more quality," Reeves said. "That was my goal for UND."

Katrina Sletto, a vocal music major, told the committee she transferred to UND from a college in Iowa to have Reeves as a choir director. Now that he's not teaching, Sletto said she's looking around at other colleges and may transfer if Reeves is not reinstated.

About 15 people have testified for Reeves' case. When testimony resumes Monday, witnesses will be able to testify about subjects other than those the committee directed.

Committee members will begin deliberations Dec. 16 after hearing closing arguments. They will make a recommendation to President Charles Kupchella, who makes the final decision.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

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