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Professor fined over 'Orwellian' ethics training

Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:30 a.m. CDT

URBANA (AP) – The hour a year the state of Illinois required University of Illinois math professor Lou van den Dries to spend in ethics training was in his view an "Orwellian" burden.

So he skipped it. For years.

Under the terms of a recently released settlement, van den Dries finally took the training last fall and paid a $500 fine.

Cole Kain of the state Office of Executive Inspector General tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that the professor is the first state employee to be fined over the training. It's required of all state workers.

Van den Dries skipped the training starting in 2006, saying it amounted to "Big Brother reducing us to the status of children."

The professor now says he gave in only after growing tired of fighting.

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