The former Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium was told to resign or face dismissal by University administrators.

Did he jump or was he pushed? It’s a question that has been the source of much speculation since the former Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Dr Karl Kramer, suddenly resigned from the position in April, after just three years of a five-year contract, citing “personal and family reasons”.

It has now been claimed that Kramer was forced to resign as Dean of the Con after accusations of misuse of an expense account were made against the American academic. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that up to $5000 in suspicious charges are under investigation, although Kramer is understood to be challenging the misuse of University funds. University administrators allegedly told Dr Kramer to offer his resignation or face immediate dismissal over the allegations.

The investigation was prompetd as a result of a substantial restaurant bill, running to nearly $1000, which was claimed by Dr Kramer over a year ago. However a number of Conservatorium staff, listed by Kramer as being in attendance at the meal, were allegedly not there, with one staff member claiming they were not even in Australia on the evening of the expensive dinner. Dr Kramer’s credit card was then apparently withdrawn before University administrators referred the matter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The ICAC is not believed to be investigating the matter.

The scandal surrounding Kramer’s departure from the Con echoes the furore surrounding the exit of the Con’s previous Dean, Kim Walker, in 2011. Walker was the subject of allegations of plagiarism and misrepresented qualifications, and while she remained as a professor of the institution until the end of the 2013, she launched a legal claim against the University of Sydney, seeking multi-million dollar damages for defamation and loss of future earnings, in December 2011.