Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Sainfort and Jacko

Twisting, twisting, slowly in the wind...

"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)

From the Star-Tribune:

Professors disciplined for double employment

Jeff Shelman, Star-Tribune

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.

The two were expected to be in position to work full-time at Minnesota beginning in January. However, in a February e-mail to a Georgia Tech administrator, Sainfort described his workload at the Atlanta school as "completely full," and that neither he nor Jacko had signed contracts with Minnesota.

The U of M contends that the two signed contracts in October 2007.

What's it going to take, Bob? Talk is apparently not cheap in this case...


Anonymous said...

What is it going to take? There has been no news out of Georgia regarding the investigation. How long does the U plan to wait until they decide to make a ruling on a potential violation of their own policy? It seems that Georgia Tech is not being shy at all about ruling on their academic policies.

In addition, if these two were hired to lead significant academic/research divisions within the U, how much return on investment has there been getting given that these two haven't exercised any administrative duties since coming aboard? Even if we don't know exactly when that was... Right...

Keep up the good work. I would like to see some additional commentary from you regarding this story.

Mr. B. said...

Thanks for your comment.

I don't know what additional commentary I can make. If these folks taught religious studies (a la Zahavy) they would have been out of here a long time ago.

I guess religious studies just doesn't seem to bring in that kind of money.

It is about the money, right Bob?

Anonymous said...

What is UM waiting for? They should be fired and served jail time. The state legislature should have a hearing on why UM is spending so much on these two crooks. The damaged has been done. What credibility would they bring to their research? I think IRS should open an investigation to audit them. They might conveniently leave out a couple of thousands dollars from their duo paychecks! Greedy. Good job with this article and keep us posted.