Sunday, August 9, 2009

From the Department of How Others See Us...

Although, based on emanations from Morrill Hall and Children's Rehab, you might not believe this, there are indeed serious repercussions for the national reputation of the University of Minnesota from recent sad events.

Examples of which include: faked stem cell research, squabbles over MMPI, foot dragging on conflict-of-interest, administrative game playing in the AHC (my org chart is bigger than yours...), and a general weary negligence in Morrill Hall about salvaging our once proud reputation.
E.g., are those double-dippers still on the payroll? Has ANY disciplinary action ever taken place? Did they give back any money? How did that last translational research proposal fare?

The fish rots from the head?

Time to clean the Aegean stables?

There is little doubt that recent developments are leading to serious erosion of our academic reputation. For an example of how the U of M is perceived by a very credible commentator on things academic, I here re-post Margaret Soltan's piece teeing off on our own David Polly:

August 9th, 2009

David Polly: Like Schatzberg, Biederman, and Nemeroff, An Involuntary COI Reformer.

David Polly couldn’t have imagined, years ago, how his grasping, conflicted, bill-industry-for-each-breath ways would eventually become known, and, as a result of becoming known, spur changes in the health industry.
UD then continues and quotes from the Pioneer-Press

Back in 2005, Dr. David Polly participated in a review of a new technology in spine surgery by an influential nonprofit group.

After he concluded the work, the University of Minnesota expert submitted a bill for some of his time to Fridley-based Medtronic.

Four years later, leaders of the nonprofit group — the Bloomington-based Institute for Clinical Systems, or ICSI — say they wouldn’t have let Polly participate in the review had they known about the billing arrangement. Technology reviews by ICSI are supposed to be impartial, they say, and a Medtronic device was among those being evaluated.

“I was shocked,” said John Sakowski, the chief operating officer at ICSI, who learned of Polly’s bill with the recent release of Polly’s records by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

… ICSI leaders say they probably will change the way they police conflicts of interest because of the Polly episode. In the future, physicians who work with the organization likely will be asked directly whether they are submitting bills to third parties for that work, said Sakowski, the group’s chief operating officer…

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