Former University of Missouri tutor Yolanda Kumar has set up a GoFundMe account “to assist with my legal and living costs” following her allegation last week that she helped perpetrate academic fraud.
Kumar resigned from her position as a tutor with Mizzou’s Total Person Program on Nov. 7 after she self-reported her role in “academic dishonesty,” a term she later used in a private Facebook post to friends that went public and brought the investigation to light.
Without income and facing significant legal fees after her admission triggered an NCAA investigation, Kumar said she has turned to the crowdfunding for assistance.
“I am a single mother and sole provider of an amazingly strong 14 year old young man,” Kumar wrote on the webpage. “You kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.”
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According to MU employment records, Kumar worked as a tutor for the athletic department on three separate occasions — September 2010 to September 2011, March 2013 to August 2013 and June 2014 until her resignation last month.
Kumar resigned five days after she said she called MU Executive Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Mary Ann Austin and blew the whistle on herself for a range of “academic dishonesty.”
She alleged in an exclusive interview with The Star last week that she completed online classes and took or assisted with mathematics placement tests for 15 Tigers student-athletes in violation of NCAA rules.
MU announced Nov. 22 it was “conducting a review of the allegations” and had self-reported the potential violations to the NCAA in a statement from the athletic department.
Kumar’s “Whistleblower Legal & Expense Fund” GoFundMe page, which has a $35,000 goal, had raised $275 in the first three hours, including a $250 donation from Mary Willingham.
A woman by the same name, Mary Willingham, was the whistleblower in the ongoing University of North Carolina academic fraud scandal.
Kumar worked as a graduate statistics instructor at MU for five years from September 2004 to June 2009 and served as an adjunct math instructor for three years from September 2010 to June 2013.
She also was an adjunct statistics instructor from April 2011 to September 2011, a position that became a full-time instructor position in the statistics department during the 2011-12 academic year.