Monday, March 19, 2012

When Will the Insanity End 

at the University of Minnesota?

Cy Wakeman, was hired to teach a "reality-based'' philosophy that "helps individuals and organizations recreate their mindsets so they can achieve results beyond their wildest dreams.'' (at $5000/Day)

(Sunday article, front page, above the fold)

Rebuked U dean's hires get scrutiny

A prominent dean at the University of Minnesota has used her department budget to give her brother a job, hire a former student for a faculty position while he held a full-time job in Iowa and pay consulting fees to two people with ties to her school's fundraising arm, campus records show.
Connie Delaney, head of the U's School of Nursing, was formally reprimanded this month for one of the hiring moves after questions were raised by the Star Tribune. Provost Karen Hanson found that Delaney violated university policy and stripped her of hiring authority for positions of 30 hours a week or more until June 2013.
Documents reviewed by the Star Tribune also show that Delaney has spent nearly $350,000 on outside consultants over the past six years -- three times more than the average spent by five other schools at the U. That includes $5,000 per day to a management consultant who provides "reality-based'' leadership coaching and charges the university as much as $250 per hour for phone consultations. 
"The speed at which this school has transformed itself is remarkably wonderful,'' Delaney said in an interview. She said the reprimand speaks for itself, and she will follow it.
Nonetheless, Delaney's tenure has been marked by staff tension and turnover. In a staff of roughly 150, more than 100 people have left in the past six years -- including many she hired.
A review of university documents also shows that Delaney was involved in the controversial hiring of Julie Jacko, the former Georgia Tech University professor who was recruited to Minnesota along with her husband, Francois Sainfort. The two were indicted one year ago in Georgia on fraud charges for allegedly drawing full-time salaries from both schools, improper expense billings and lying about their employment.
"I want to thank you for your very proactive role in my recruitment,'' Jacko wrote to Delaney in a September 2007 e-mail.
An e-mail response from Delaney said: "We are both movers, and respect but do not let issues obstruct progress ...''
Two jobs
As the Jacko-Sainfort case first made headlines in the spring of 2008, Delaney had another case of dual employment on her hands.
According to university documents, Delaney recruited and hired Thomas R. Clancy as a clinical professor starting in August 2007. Delaney had been Clancy's Ph.D. adviser when she taught at the University of Iowa.
At the time, Clancy was a top-level administrator at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, a full-time position he kept, with Delaney's knowledge, for more than a year after she hired him to the U's faculty, university records show.
Records show that Clancy worked 100 percent time in Iowa and 75 percent time at the U for 17 months. His U position paid benefits and a salary of $75,000. The hospital also was aware of the situation, and Delaney was impressed with Clancy's output, according to an internal U of M report in response to Star Tribune inquiries.
"Clancy could do most of his work online, with minimal commuting time,'' the report said.
In January 2009, when Clancy cut back to a 20 percent schedule at the Iowa hospital, Delaney gave him a full-time appointment at the U. Delaney said Clancy had important family reasons for staying in Iowa, and it was April 2010 before he moved his family to Minnesota to be on site daily at the U, records show.
Hanson, the provost, concluded that the university "clearly got value'' from Clancy during his dual employment, and she didn't hold him responsible for the violation of university rules.
She did note, however, that Clancy's full-time work in Iowa was not formally reported to the U, as required, and she concluded that the hiring violated Regents policy.
Delaney's brother, E. Clark White, received a pair of consulting contracts in late 2006 and 2007. He stayed until a whistleblower called attention to the arrangement.
In an interview, Delaney said she was new to the dean's office and alarmed by its inefficiencies. Her brother had managed subsidized housing and was meticulous about office management, she said.
"I brought him quickly on board ... to attend to a crisis situation,'' Delaney said. "We had to turn things around in this office right now.''

Delaney and Terry Bock, associate vice president and chief of staff for the Academic Health Center, said they had a management plan to make an exception to the university's nepotism and conflict-of-interest rules. White wouldn't report to his sister, but to Bock for the first contract and to Delaney's chief operating officer for the second, Bock said.
The dean's brother overran the $2,000 limit on his initial, $65-an-hour contract, requiring an urgent round of paperwork to extend the contract and add $1,012.
"I need this approved an encumbered ASAP as a special favor to Dean Delaney,'' an accounts specialist wrote on Jan. 19, 2007, to an administrator in central purchasing.
In June 2007, well into White's second contract, central purchasing received information about the arrangement that it forwarded to Dick Bianco, then chair of the Institutional Conflict Review Board.
In a confidential e-mail to Cerra, the Medical School dean who also headed the Academic Health Center, Bianco wrote that Delaney "did not disclose these conflicts prior to awarding these contracts. This raises both institutional and personal conflict issues.''
Less than 36 hours later, Bock terminated White's contract and the case was later closed without disciplinary action, records show.
In hindsight, Delaney said, she made a mistake. "If I had to do it over, I wouldn't do it. Because of the perception. The perception of conflict of interest,'' she said.
Said Hanson, "We are satisfied Dean Delaney recognized the technical problem when it occurred and resolved it.''
Leadership coach
... Delaney's spending on outside consultants is far out of the norm at the university. Since January 2006 she has outspent five other deans, randomly chosen, by an average of three to one. Records show $348,456 worth of contracts for professional service at the School of Nursing in that time compared with an average total of $102,000 at the five other schools: Law, Pharmacy, Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering ,and the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences.
One consultant, an Omaha-based leadership coach named Cy Wakeman, was hired to teach a "reality-based'' philosophy that "helps individuals and organizations recreate their mindsets so they can achieve results beyond their wildest dreams.''
Under contracts personally administered by Delaney, Wakeman draws $5,000 a day for site visits, plus travel expenses, and $250 an hour for phone consultations. Records from one of the contracts indicate that Delaney did not shop for a lower-cost provider, but university rules don't require competitive bids for contracts under $50,000.
In two other cases, Delaney granted consulting contracts to Twin Cities professionals who served with her on the board of the Nursing School's fundraising foundation. Janet Stacey, a member of the foundation board and a vice president at Padilla Speer Beardsley, a public relations and marketing firm, was a principal on a contract for up to $14,000 for an assessment of the school's communications work. Christine Seitz, a past chair of the foundation, has signed five contracts since 2009 worth $114,000, for projects including "strategic repositioning'' of the foundation.
Neither Delaney nor Hanson said they saw a conflict in giving university business to Seitz and Stacey.
Delaney said the foundation is not a legal corporation, but a group of volunteers who donate "humongous'' hours. Hanson said Seitz was selected for her expertise in planning and because she has the foundation's trust.
Delaney said her use of consultants, in general, is normal.
"There are times when you bring in an external consultancy to validate, to help facilitate change,'' she said.
Addressing heavy staff departures, Delaney said: "There has been turnover.'' She attributed it to the fast-paced change that she was hired to instill.

Some comments from the Star-Tribune web site:

The article nails the issues pretty well. Obvious the nursing dean has got to go. I cannot believe the continued mismanagement issues we see at the U of M.  

The U needs to uncover every stone and clean this mess up. This is a disgrace in what used to be a decent educational institution.

She lost "some authority"? She should've been fired!

This high-level corruption is depressing, but simply cutting funding to the university in response to these scandals will only lead to higher tuition and a degraded education--fewer classes, more students, less learning. In other words, it will only hurt the students--graduates who are important to the economic success of the state. We need to actually target the problem. Perhaps the state could say that future funding increases will only be granted if the university caps salaries for administrators and has greater oversight of deans and presidents.

"Records show that Clancy worked 100 percent time in Iowa and 75 percent time at the U for 17 months" this an example of "fuzzy math"? When I got my alumni donation request in the mail recently, it quickly found the shredder. I have attempted to do my part in helping the U of M to reduce expenses and live within its' budget....I sent them a letter and told them to save the postage on any further mailings.

The proud moments for the U keep streaming in. Glad the Strib reporters are doing their jobs.

As a former School of Nursing employee, working directly with Dean Delaney, this article merely uncovers a small portion of her bad choices. Kudos to Tony Kennedy for writing it.

Just another chapter in the book that keeps writing itself over at the UMN. As a resident of Minnesota I am totally ashamed and embarrassed that this crap has gone on at the University unabated for so long and nobody has done anything about it. It seems to be one scandal after another over there, and I'm not sure scandal is the right word. The University of Minnesota is totally unable to police themselves and hold themselves accountable for anything. Morals and ethics it appears are not being offered at any level. It seems that the preferred personality over there for deans and administrators and certain clinical trial investigators is narcissistic, and if confronted with anything the desired response is deny...deny...deny.

Double dipping seems to be the norm at the U. The past two weeks have been eye opening about the actions of management at the U. And Kaler is out asking for support, "call your legislators". Clean up your house.

This kind of thing has been part of the culture from the top (see previous stories about former Pres) - see also defense in the Strib just a few days by several current deans of Bruininks. It's OK to pay modest salaries there to secretaries & custodians, but the "big boys and girls" get hundreds of thousands/year, waive requirements of paying back funds if people leave after sabbaticals, and as Pres B showed, can shift hundreds of thousands into the area where he is going to work. Will the new Pres clean house? Will he enforce conflict of interest?

Staff have churned for six years under the divisive, abusive and ethically challenged leadership of this nurse (!), exacting a high toll on employees and sending many of them to seek psychological help. It’s a corrupt and fear-infused working environment hardly suited for preparing young people to conduct a career that requires the highest moral and humanitarian values. Will this new administration “see no evil,” and hide behind a bureaucratic slap on the wrist? Or will it take the samples of moral confusion outlined in this story seriously, protect employees who are willing to call out wrongdoing and take appropriate action? Is anybody listening?

Why does the University not realize how important it is to fire this woman and investigate criminal malfeasance in the case?

She should be in jail.

The University's athletic teams struggle, but at least we maintain the number one spot in the nation regarding idiocy. Well done!

A hundred people left the School of Nursing...What did these people write on their exit survey? The Board of Regents needs to remove this Dean and clean house in the legal department. We continue to see the same problems, time and again and that should be attributed to a weak legal department!

So here's this total staff of 150 people, and *six years* later and and after staff turnover of *100* that continues to this day, this dean still can't figure out how to solve her administrative problems for what is probably the U's tiniest school! And here's the ripe part: That's after $348,456 worth of consulting contracts, which amounts to $2,323 per employee. She appears to be not only unethical but incompetent.

Kaler....Maturi.....Brunnicks....Delaney....... Sviggum......UM Regents....slush funds, etc., all their assistants, families and friends, sounds like quite the gravy train going on at the U. I wonder when our legislators are going to finally say "enough is enough." These actions border on the criminal and it's the students who pay the consequences.

Delaney was "formally reprimanded and can't hire any fulltime employees for a whole year"...boy! I bet that set her back on her heels, let's hope she doesn't decide to sue the U for cruel and unusual punishment!

I too am a former SoN employee. I got along with Connie, but we all questioned her ability to make the right decisions when it came to managing the departments. We did have the highest turnover rates at the U, and some was directly because of her, but other times it was due to the mid-level managers and department heads who had no clue on how to lead or manage their staff. She would continually hire or renew these individuals who had no business being there, forcing those of us with integrity and the knowledge to get the place in shape, out. I also had the dubious pleasure of working with the consultants and fundraising board who were some of the biggest waste of funds. Between the constant hand holding and $15 per plate lunches over SoN Foundation’s monthly board meetings, the ROI in funds raised was hardly worth it. Not all of these individuals were like that, some were genuinely concerned about the School and genuinely concerned about its poor leadership, but their contributions were often overshadowed by all the daily dysfunction there. At any rate, I’m glad to see my concerns validated in this report. Thank you!

Ethical lapses and mismanagement of this nature gets people fired in the private sector. At the U of MN they lose a little authority . Amazing. Just another in a growing list of waste and fraud. Yet we hear a constent mantra that taxpayers don't provide enough. Clean this cesspool up before they get another penny.

The fiduciary responsibility of the U is atrocious. Why should taxpayers pour any more money into this financial sinkhole until it cleans up its act. No oversight plus an elitist entitlement psychology.

This again shows how out of touch the U has become. The mismanagement and lack of economic understanding is astounding. As a parent who is sending a child to community college because of the high and rising costs of the U I am outraged.  

Has the legal department reported the letter of reprimand to the Minnesota Board of Nursing? Her conduct is "unethical" and a mandatory reporting element under the Nurse Practice Act.

I have been educated at, worked, and rallied for the U during the last 25 years. As it is now, I no longer support it and strongly believe the legislature should limit funding. I do not trust the the administration will use money wisely for students, education, and staff - rather than themselves.

It all starts at the top. If it was alright for Bruininks to "feather his nest" why shouldn't everyone else. At least Bruininks isn't President any longer. Maybe the new President will provide some leadership, maybe even lead by example. First order of business should get rid of Bruininks and Maturi and the other staffers who are "retired" but still collecting six figure salaries.

I was a university administrator for 12 years in the UW-System. I am shocked by the behavior of top administrators at the University of Minnesota and the lack of oversight by the regents and university president. While this article is alarming in the consistent breach of ethics, it is more disconcerting to realize how many faculty have left the school. I would challenge anyone to find a top tier research institution that has lost the same percentage of faculty as the U's School of Nursing. Where is the leadership for the "U"?

It's the School of Nursing's version of the Hunger Games with the weary staff serving as expendable tributes in the troubled districts and faculty--the chosen few at least--enjoying a Capitol existence. These are the dark days. "And may the odds be ever in your favor."

It's not just the money. This really reflects badly on the U of M. I would agree that she should be fired, no severance for gross mismanagement. The only way to clean it up is to get rid of bad eggs. That would make a statement this type of conduct won't be tolerated.

I have two degrees from the U of M and had an excellent education there. It is very difficult for me to imagine the environment in the school of nursing at this time. Professors getting full salaries from the U while employed and living elsewhere is criminal. Jacko and Sainfort made more than $500,000 together at the U in 2010 while facing felony charges at Georgia Tech for double dipping. And they are still at the U making those salaries! $5,000 a day consultant is unconscionable. Every staff has some weeding out with new directors, but 2/3 of the staff and faculty leaving in 6 years is a sign of chaos not orderly transition. Who is in charge here? Numerous people hired without adherence to university policy and Delaney only get her hand mildly slapped after the Strib investigates. I hope President Kahler, sees the corruption, the cronyism, and the mismanagement and makes the needed changes for the U of M to be the ethical, top-notch university it strives to be.

What is going on over at the University. Who has the oversight for these incredible wasteful expenditures? Would all of this just continued as SOP had it not been for Tony Kennedy and his investigative reporting? This is some seriously concerning information and significant changes need to be made now! Thank you Mr. Kennedy keep up the good work.

It is very obvious the U of M as lost all ability to police its self concerning other peoples money. It is just one joke after another at the U. Perhaps the new dean will make changes, but I doubt it. There is just to much of the mentality of "You take care of me and I will take care of you." Shame on the U of M. The beat goes on.

I am an alumnus of the school of nursing, and am quite disappointed to read this. How does anyone continue to be employed with this kind of unethical decision making? What else don't we know about? I will not make any further contributions to the University until this kind of mess is cleaned up. No wonder U of M costs are so high few can afford it.

As an employee in the Medical School, I can tell you that the administrative and accounting sectors are profoundly corrupt. As tax payers, the AHC should get $0 until outside investigators (i.e., the Feds) audit the place. Disgusting.

The regular stories about the U's misbehavior and worse are, indeed, alarming. However, what is more disconcerting is the unacceptable failure of the Minnesota Legislature to take swift and decisive action to clean up our state's academic rat's nest. Meanwhile, the costs continue to skyrocket for the students of the U. Student costs could undoubtedly be dramatically reduced if the unethical extravagance and probable fraud in the University's administration were cleaned up by our legislature, which heretofore, has only been a demonstrated "heads in the sand" malfeasance.

How can anyone, let alone the Dean of a university graduate school, think that hiring their brother on a contract was OK? Or that hiring someone already working full time,was OK? There has to be a story on the consultant who she paid $250 an hour for phone consults. How many other stories was Star Tribune unable to find? Will they now move her into a less visible position, at the same salary? If Kaler doesn't quickly begin to lead a housecleaning of the whole U of M system,he should be swept out too.

As a deeply committed alum, I believe that with authority comes responsibility and consequences for violation of that responsibility. Dean Delaney shows a long-standing pattern of disregard for due process and ethical standards that accompany the position of Dean. She should be removed from her position as Dean as a clear expression of institutional standards, consistent with President Kaler's call for transparency and integrity. President Kaler calls the U to aspire to a vision of integrity and ethical leadership. I support this call and urge him to take swift action that communicates these standards and vision.

Such flagrant abuses of taxpayer dollars are truly unacceptable within an institution as respected as the U of MN. As a loyal alumni and donor, I am deeply concerned by the fact that Dean Delaney only lost her hiring privileges following the exposure of her ethical incompetencies. This is a critical opportunity for the U to demonstrate that it is truly committed to the responsible management of our hard earned resources. It is clear that Dean Delaney should be asked to step down from her current position. Please help restore my confidence in the U of MN!

Given President Kaler's response yesterday to the article about the Dean in Nursing, it appears the University will do, once again, what it has done before – fail to take a hard look at why patterns of unethical and illegal behaviors can continue in a system that supposedly has policies to prevent this sort of thing. Rather, they will focus on all the good things happening at the U and hope the public looks the other way. As a UMN graduate, I do believe it is a stellar university serving Minnesota in countless ways. But, what has happened that such abuses go unchecked? Several people have commented that the story about Dean Delaney is old news. May I point out that the reprimand was given to the Dean earlier this month. That's RECENT NEWS. More importantly, why did it take the University 3-4 years to reprimand her for participating in a double dipping scam that happened several years ago? Who is assuring that the top people in the UMN follow the rules? If this Dean isn't fired from her job, then I would conclude the answer is "no one."

Another validation of why I have withdrawn all present and future financial support to the school of nursing. what a shame for such a great school.

I am a senior in the BSN program. I find Dean Delaney's actions and ethical conduct to be completely outrageous. We pay a $700 "Nursing Program Fee" and a $139 "Nursing Collegiate Fee" in addition to the regular tuition and student fees. I suppose these fees are used to pay these $5,000 a day contractors (aka her brother), and her pocket, and do not go towards our education. We have experienced cuts in our clinical experiences, while some of our classes are worthless and poorly planned. I am confident that my fellow seniors will agree with me.


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