The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) was recently the subject of a lengthy investigation by Navy Inspector General (IG) Vice Admiral James P. Wisecup. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus released the report of that investigation to the public and at the same time dismissed the president of the school, retired Navy Vice Admiral Dan Oliver, and its provost, Dr. Leonard Ferrari. These actions are still reverberating through the school and, indeed, well beyond.
The summary and public dismissal of two dedicated men who have devoted their lives to national security has cast a long shadow over the NPS. The Department of the Navy is reviewing all aspects of the IG’s report and will certainly implement changes. As the report noted, changes in administrative procedures and financial aspects are clearly in order. In some cases, the problems had been recognized and corrective action initiated well before the IG’s team arrived at NPS. In particular, it has long been acknowledged that the school’s financial management system, especially the way it accounted for overhead, needed recalibrating. This point was emphasized in the school’s command inspection in 2009.