Sunday, April 24, 2011

For the University of Minnesota Record

Elliott (Carl) - Elliott (Barbara) 


(added emphasis mine)

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 07:01:32 -0500
From: Carl Elliott <>

Subject: Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure


I saw that the letter from Center for Bioethics faculty members about the suicide of Dan Markingson was discussed in the 4/8 meeting.  Just a point of correction: there was nothing factually inaccurate in the letter.  I'm not sure if the Committee understood that I had access to the legal and medical records from the case, and that my article in Mother Jones was thoroughly vetted and approved by the magazine's lawyers and fact-checkers.  Maybe it would be helpful if I sent the Committee a referenced version of the article with the relevant records appended?

Also, if our letter is going to be discussed again, it seems only fair that we be allowed to attend.



Carl Elliott MD PhD
Professor, Center for Bioethics

From: Barbara Elliott <>
Subject: Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 10:54:43 -0500

Cc: """" <>,
   Aaron Friedman <>,
   R Mulcahy <>,
   Gary Engstrand <>

To: Carl Elliott <>,
   S Charles Schulz <>

Hello to you each, Chuck and Carl--

Thank you for your careful reading of our Academic Freedom and Tenure minutes. You are correct--we have been asked to respond to The Office of General Counsel's question: What is the faculty collective role in addressing factually-incorrect attacks on particular University faculty research activities? From what you each reveal, this question is evidently related to your circumstances.

AF+T, as you likely know, is a policy committee. We do not consider the issues with regard to specific cases; there are other mechanisms within the University structure to do that. The Markingson case served as a prompt for the request that we consider the issues; it is by no means the only such incident, and we have been asked to consider the general question, not the case specifically. We intend to continue to discuss the issues raised in our conversation with Vice Presidents Friedman and Mulcahy, but we will not be concerned about, nor focus on, the Markingson case.

Consequently, although I am grateful for your offers to add to our committee's information and background regarding your experiences, I must decline. They would not add insight to our work on the OGC's specific question, and if there were more contact among us, I would feel compelled to recuse myself from the AF+T committee's work on this question.

Thank you for your interest. --b

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