Monday, April 28, 2008

Can This Pair Be Saved?

The University of Minnesota Takes Draconian Action

From the Star-Tribune:

Double dipping professors to have salaries, responsibilities reduced

April 28, 2008

The two University of Minnesota professors accused of double dipping salaries will have their responsibilities and salaries reduced for the next two months as their departure from Georgia Tech is examined.

On Monday, the husband and wife duo of Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko asked for and received a leave of absence from their administrative duties at the U of M, according a school spokeswoman. They will retain their faculty positions during those months and be paid that portion of their salaries.

"It will give them some time to focus on resolving their issues with Georgia Tech," U of M spokeswoman Mary Koppel said.

The university will continue to look into the double dipping allegations.

Sainfort and Jacko were lured to Minnesota from the Atlanta school in the fall. Sainfort was hired to lead the Division of Health Policy and Management in the Academic Health Center, while Jacko was brought in as director of the Institute on Health Informatics.

Sainfort was receiving a $20,000 for his administrative duties in addition to his $265,000 annual salary. Jacko's base salary is $204,000 and she was receiving $12,000 for her administrative duties.

Earlier this month, Georgia Tech began the process of firing Sainfort and Jacko for being on the payroll of both schools at the same time. Georgia Tech has turned the case over to the Georgia attorney general.

In a February e-mail to an administrator, Sainfort described his spring semester workload at Georgia Tech as full and added that neither he nor Jacko had signed contracts with Minnesota. Minnesota officials, however, contend that the two signed contracts in October and are concerned with Sainfort's e-mail. Minnesota officials said Sainfort and Jacko were expected to be in "residence" on Jan. 1. Georgia Tech has said that the two signed contracts to work there for this entire school year after they signed with Minnesota.

The two professors are doing research at Minnesota and will continue to do that. In addition, Jacko will continue to work on course development for the U's School of Nursing.

Let's see if I understand this...

($12,000/12) x 2 = $2000

and ($20,000/12) x 2 = $3333

Wow, that is really going to hurt people who are making more than 200 grand a year... Sort of reminds you of fines for professional athletes. The words "slap on the wrist" come to mind.

But I guess it is something and takes the heat off the administration temporarily while they deal with other pressing problems, like light rail.

How, exactly is this different from the Zahavy case? And what happened to Zahavy?

"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.

I guess some pigs are more equal than other pigs, as long as they are good rainmakers. Sorry, this does not pass the smell test.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the great analysis. How long is U Minn going to keep up this charade? We are talking about (roughly) a 5% paycut. This is considered an "unpaid leave of absence". This kind of BS is what started this mess in the first place. False posturing of the actuality of the situation. In addition, they may have been rainmakers but how long is this likely to continue now that they have been effectively blacklisted. Let's see if the dividends come in the end or not...

Mr. B. said...

Actually, it is closer to one percent.

But thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Zahavy is easy to find on google. His CV apparently doesn't list all his academic positions.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Zahavy knows a really good attorney. Seems like he's clearly been give the go ahead to give the U their comeuppance for his firing. I hope he takes them to the cleaners. The Administrators of this University should be ashamed to suger coat this blatantly arrogant behavior on the part of these super stars (Sainfort and Jacko).

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was calculating based their monthly salary "deficit". Unless they are taking paid leave from their faculty duties, it is unclear how this choice will free up the time required to clean up this mess.

Seems to me that U of Minn is stalling and biding their time until these 2 are formally charged in Georgia. If no charges come out of the attorney general's office, then U of Minn will likely try to hang onto these 2.

However, I think that their ability to continue as "rainmakers" as you put it is going to be significantly affected by the allegations.

They were brought in to bring private research funds to the U and the allegations are based on non-state funds.

Don't you see future problems for these two to deliver the goods? Also, they would need to bring in $1M a year to make their price tag worthwhile.

Mr. B. said...

And then there is the little matter of damaged credibility in the future.

Can't you just imagine them trying to inspire fellow faculty members to do things "for the good of the university" ? You know, the little people making less than, say, $100 K a year.

And then if words like ethics or integrity should ever drop from their lips...

Yah, fersure.

One way or the other, I don't think they will be with us for very long.