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Footdragging Continues

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On Double Dipping Faculty Members

Background:

"I think we need to put ourselves in the position of acting according to the highest ethical principles. I believe our people do that now and I believe our people will be doing that in the future as well." President Bruininks (Daily: 6-18-08)

"The Board of Regents and the administration of the University made it clear years ago that it would not tolerate undisclosed, simultaneous full-time employment," Rotenberg said.

"As a matter of fact, Julie and I have not even signed an employee contract yet with Minnesota. ... We have only agreed to unofficially start this semester with full residence starting in May." Francois Sainfort February Email


But the couple had already begun working full-time for the University of Minnesota at that time, according to documents. Mark Rotenberg, the general counsel for the U of M, said the couple's compensation and contracts at Minnesota began Oct. 1.


"We will try to piece this together in regard to whether something serious has indeed happened here in regard to so-called double-dipping." Mark Rotenberg, U of M general counsel

Today the Strib has an update:

Professors disciplined for double employment

By JEFF SHELMAN, Star Tribune

July 8, 2008

Two University of Minnesota professors accused of being on the payrolls of two universities simultaneously will continue to work at reduced pay and responsibilities into the upcoming academic year.

The husband-and-wife duo of health researchers Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko were considered to be star hires when they were lured to Minnesota from Georgia Tech last fall. In February, the Atlanta school began the process of firing the two for being on the payroll of both schools at the same time. Georgia Tech also turned the case over to the Georgia attorney general.

In April, Sainfort and Jacko asked for and received a two-month leave of absence from their administrative duties in order to resolve their issues with Georgia Tech. That leave, which was supposed to end this summer, will now continue until Sept. 30, according to U of M spokesman Daniel Wolter.

Sainfort and Jacko recently resigned from their positions at Georgia Tech, spokesman Matt Nagel said Tuesday. The two will continue to perform their teaching and research duties at the U of M and receive their base salaries, which are a combined $469,000 per year.

The U of M has not taken any additional action against the couple. Minnesota also has a policy against holding multiple full-time positions.

"Our investigation into the matter is still underway," Wolter said. "We continue to cooperate with the Georgia attorney general and are closely following that investigative process."

The U of M, however, is not obligated to wait for an outcome in Georgia, he said.

Sainfort was hired to lead the Division of Health Policy and Management in the U of M's Academic Health Center, while Jacko was brought in as director of the Institute on Health Informatics.


Comments on this article were grim, e.g., from a lifetime University of Minnesota Alumni Association member:

I can't believe that the U has not taken a stronger stand on this issue. Regardless of their salaries, these individuals are not conducting as we Minnesotans expect professionals at OUR university to conduct themselves. Double dipping, we don't stand for that with hourly workers. I suggest that the U become much more transparent about this particular issue (why are you not letting these two go?). And I think that the U needs to make salaries of employees more easily accessible to the public. It is my understanding that state employees' compensation packages are public information. We know what the Governor makes, why shouldn't we know what professors make. And how they are spending their time to earn their salaries. Let's go UofM, stand up and do the right thing. I won't be donating anymore of my money to the U until the U finances are transparent.

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