Education: Scandal in Academe

It seemed innocent enough at the start. Three years ago, Harry A. Lowther, a "retired businessman," and his wife, Barbara Phillips Lowther, a psychology teacher, set up their own small foundation in Illinois. Last week, as a result of their still unfolding financial manipulations, the Lowthers had driven a renowned educational-research institute close to bankruptcy, hastened the closing of an experimental college in Arizona, damaged some leading reputations in higher education—and produced the juiciest scandal in U.S. academe in years.

The Lowthers were married in January 1972, and that summer founded the Phillips...

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