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Two U professors accused of "double-dipping"

Georgia Tech has accused two University of Minnesota professors of "double-dipping" on salaries and expense payments, the Star Tribune reported.

The U recruited Profs. Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko away from Georgia Tech last fall. They are national leaders in the "health informatics" field, the discipline of analyzing computer-generated health data.

Georgia Tech contends that it renewed Sainfort's contract in October and Jacko's in January.

The professors are eager to have the situation reviewed by the Georgia attorney general and the U hopes that the situation is just an employment dispute.

"The faculty members are suspected of dual employment and double billing their time to [Georgia Tech], falsifying travel reimbursement documents and other potentially illegal actions,'' Georgia Tech said in an official statement made Wednesday. "To date, the investigation has revealed approximately $100,000 in questionable activity.''

The couple have a reputation for winning large research grants. The pair, husband and wife, will have a combined salary of more than $500,000 at the U.

Jacko was named director of the Institute for Health Informatics at the U of M in December 2007 and is a professor in the School of Nursing and School of Public Health.