Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mark Rotenberg, General Counsel

at the University of Minnesota,

Denialist in Chief?

Karen Himle, the University of Minnesota vice president at the heart of a controversy over the university-produced documentary "Troubled Waters," will step down in January.
the issues go deeper than one person's "conflict of interest," DeVore [Brian DeVore, communications coordinator for the Land Stewardship Project] said. "The U needs to address what was the environment that allowed something like this to take place, and make sure that it doesn't happen again," he said.

The U has detailed the events surrounding the "Troubled Waters" broadcast in a 10-page report dated Nov. 15. The U's general counsel, Mark Rotenberg, said he and the provost are holding meetings with faculty committees so they can explore concerns about academic freedom raised by this incident.

But Rotenberg rejects the idea that such freedom was compromised. "The film was not censored, it was not edited, and it was shown exactly when everyone anticipated," he said. "That's the bottom line. That's a reaffirmation of the principles of academic freedom."

E-mails between Himle and others make clear that "there were concerns about how constituencies in the state of Minnesota would feel about the film," he said, "and that's appropriate. We're a land-grant university."
He added: "There is no evidence whatsoever that any outside business interests played any role in her decision to postpone the film."

Here's the real bottom line, counselor.  The reason that the film went on as scheduled is because of the enormous outcry that the attempted postponement WAS censorship and a violation of academic freedom.  Without this outcry would the film have gone on as scheduled?

And you, counselor, have a conflict of interest in this matter. Who do you work for, exactly? Who is/are your clients?  Why are you afraid of an independent investigation? Your involvement in this matter is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

Did the University of Minnesota

Throw Ms. Himle Under the Bus

or Did She Take One For the Team?


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