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March 17, 2010 10:00 AM BearingPoint Wants Yale Gift Back

By Daniel Luzer

BearingPoint.jpg

Last year the consulting firm BearingPoint filed for bankruptcy. U.S. bankruptcy law allows creditors to reclaim to some of the money companies spent in the two years before bankruptcy began. This means BearingPoint’s creditors are going after Yale. According to an article by Edvard Pettersson in Business Week:

The liquidation trustee for BearingPoint Inc., the business consulting firm that sold most of its assets, wants Yale University to return $8.1 million it received from BearingPoint before the firm filed for bankruptcy.
Yale should return $2.1 million it received from December 2008 to February 2009 as part of an education collaboration agreement, as well as $6 million the university got in 2007 and 2008 as part of a commitment agreement, said the trustee, John DeGroote Services LLC, in a March 12 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

BearingPoint , whose then-CEO, Harry L. You, earned an MA in Economics from Yale, agreed to give a total $8.1 million to the school, including 2.1 million to establish the BearingPoint endowed chair of Management.

The BearingPoint Professorship apparently is now held by Victor Vroom, who is something of an authority on organizational behavior.

“No material consideration flowed to BearingPoint, and no benefit to its business or assets was derived from the endowing of chairs or the naming of buildings at Yale,” according to the trustee.

In 2007 You said that his company was:

Deeply honored to have an educator of Victor Vroom’s reputation and distinction as the first incumbent of the BearingPoint Chair in Management. His scholarly accomplishments, unique vision and broad perspective on the global marketplace have already had a profound impact on some of our most talented people through his classes in the BearingPoint Leadership Program at the Yale School of Management. Professor Vroom’s insights have already enhanced our approach to solving our clients’ most pressing challenges, and so we are delighted that he has been named to the BearingPoint Chair.

Yale University apparently had no comment about the matter.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer