Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Further Information About Our Latest High Profile Hires

The U of M now has its own Power Couple - Harvard has Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power and now we have Julie Jacko and Francois Sainfort.

Take that, you rambling wrecks.

Given that the pair has been at Wisconsin and Georgia Tech before making their latest eyebrow-raising move, it seems only a matter of time until they ride off into the sunset for ever more lucrative opportunities. After all, there are always ambitious aspirations to be sated. Or, as Barnum said about suckers...

[I thank a reader for calling this to my attention.]

From the Fort Mill Times:

Ga. Tech warned professor about behavior

(Published April 21, 2008)

ATLANTA — At least one of two Georgia Tech professors being investigated for fraud and theft was warned by his boss months ago that he was in danger of running afoul of university policy, according to documents released Monday.

But that e-mail now reads like a prediction for Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko, a husband and wife who brought millions in grant money to Georgia Tech. The pair is being investigated by the state attorney general's office after the university turned over documents alleging Sainfort and Jacko continued to collect paychecks from Georgia Tech after accepting jobs at the University of Minnesota.

Georgia Tech associate engineering dean John Leonard wrote in an e-mail to Sainfort that the transition from Atlanta to Minnesota "may be subject to later examination, so it is important that all pieces fit together cleanly the first time."

The e-mail was sent sometime before a Feb. 11 response from Sainfort, which is the only date available in investigation and personnel documents released to The Associated Press under an open records request.

In the documents, university officials allege Sainfort and Jacko flew between Minnesota and Atlanta at Georgia Tech's expense and collected thousands of dollars in pay when they were supposed to be on unpaid leave. University officials say they have identified nearly $100,000 in questionable spending by the duo so far.

Russ Willard, spokesman for Attorney General Thurbert Baker, declined comment.

University of Minnesota general counsel Mark Rotenberg said university officials are also looking into the allegations against Sainfort and Jacko. The pair signed contracts with Minnesota last fall after being recruited by the university, Rotenberg said.

"We will try to piece this together in regard to whether something serious has indeed happened here in regard to so-called double-dipping. At this time, however, we at the University of Minnesota are in no position to make any definitive statement about these allegations."

Jacko is serving as the director of the Institute of Health Informatics and professor in the university's School of Nursing and School of Public Health. Sainfort is a professor and head of the division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health.

Sainfort renewed his contract with Georgia Tech in October just days after he signed the contract with Minnesota, according to documents from the investigation. Jacko renewed her contract in January, the documents show.

University documents show the couple reimbursed the university $2,619 on April 4 for travel to Minnesota after questions arose over why Georgia Tech was paying for it.

Georgia Tech announced the allegations in a statement last week. University officials have also said they've begun the tenure revocation process .


Worrying about little things like a couple of thou for travel expenses or a few overlapping paychecks - that's just for the little people to worry about, apparently.

You know, those stupid slobs who actually teach or sweat bullets over funding, rather than raising millions of dollars in research funds.

This duo will fit in real well here, in the rarified atmosphere of "ambitious aspirations to become one of the top three public research universities in the world [sic]." At half a mil a year for the two of them, though, it's going to be expensive.

Raise that tuition, dig that gravel, buy that Coke, sell that soul...



Anonymous said...

Mark Rotenberg will lie through his teeth about this - he's the one that should be terminated.

momo said...

What, did they think nobody would NOTICE?