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The Oakland Post

Business professor charged with counts of drug possession

Shelby Tankersley, Editor-in-Chief

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Joseph Schiele, an associate professor of business at Oakland University, has been charged with several counts of drug and analogues possession, possession of a firearm and maintaining a drug house according to Local 4 Defenders, all of which are felonies. Student witnesses also reported underage drinking.

He was charged on February 17, OU also suspended him that day. In a media statement, OU said that it has cooperated thus far in the investigation and will continue to do so. The statement reads:

“The illegal conduct that Mr. Schiele is alleged to have engaged in violates every value for which Oakland University stands, and will not be permitted or tolerated.  Students, faculty and staff are always encouraged to bring forth any safety concerns they may have, all of which are investigated by the proper authorities.”

According to Local 4 Defenders, a replacement professor finished teaching Schiele’s classes for the remainder of the semester. Students interviewed by Local 4 outside Elliott Hall, home of the business school, were unsuspecting and shocked to hear the beloved professor had been charged with doing this.

“It blows my mind, it’s so weird,” John Gossett, a graduating senior who had Schiele as professor, told The Oakland Post. “He was one of my favorite professors here at OU. He was a very level-headed and practical teacher. He would sit with us and ask us questions to make it like a real work place. I had heard rumors of [the accusations] because he wasn’t teaching anymore, and it’s crazy to know that it’s true.”

Schiele has taught business at OU since 2004 and has been a tenured professor since 2010. He is on paid leave while the trial progresses according to Local 4.

He is accused of bringing students to his Oakland Township home to drink and use illegal drugs. Students at the trial said cocaine, ketamine and marijuana were at Schiele’s house.

Ketamine and cocaine gave the authorities concern because both seriously alter the mind. While cocaine is known for giving lots of energy, ketamine creates a feeling of detachment from one’s environment and can be used as a “date-rape” drug.

Students brought this issue to the Oakland University Police Department through anonymous tips. Because the tips were consistent, OUPD knew they must hold some weight.

“We received two anonymous calls in 2016 that there was drug activity at a professor’s house,” said OUPD Chief of Police, Mark Gordon. “We got a tip in January of 2016 and again in August of 2016. Both times we turned them over to the proper authorities.”

Police departments have jurisdictional boundaries, OUPD’s is the campus and the roads surrounding it. Since the felonies took place in Oakland Township, it was not within OUPD’s power to investigate it. Everything was immediately given to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

OUPD does not know how many students have been affected, but that information should come from the ongoing investigation being done by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. The Oakland Post will provide more information on the trial as it becomes available.

In the meantime, Gordon encouraged students to utilize OUPD when they know of suspicious or dangerous activity.

“We are committed to maintaining a safe campus, so please call us and let us know what’s going on,” he said.

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Oakland University's independent student newspaper.