Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Farewell to Mark Rotenberg, University of Minnesota General Counsel

Brutus and the Ghost of Caesar (Source)

The evil that men do lives after them; 

The good is oft interred with their bones.

Marc Antony - Shakespeare's Julius Caeasar 

I have often been critical of the General Counsel on The Periodic Table, so I am very pleased to learn that Mr. Rotenberg is leaving the University and hope that his successor will act in a more transparent manner both with the press and the faculty at the university. The General Counsel should act in the best interests of the University of Minnesota as a whole and not simply be the administration's pit bull.

For some examples of Mr. Rotenberg's egregious behavior please see:

Chicago Philosopher Calls Out U of M General Counsel on "a quite brazen attack on academic freedom"

University of Minnesota General Counsel: Is Defamation Protected by Academic Freedom?

Freedom’s Just Another Word for . . . Restriction?

Should the General Counsel at the University of Minnesota Take a Sabbatical for a Refresher Course in Constitutional Law?

University of Minnesota General Counsel Rotenberg The Buck Stops... at the Faculty Senate! 
Backpedaling by the University of Minnesota General Counsel

Freedom’s Just Another Word for . . . Restriction? At the University of Minnesota, can't be...Actions have consequences, Mr. Rotenberg.

There he goes again..

Old Story - Still No Answers Is the U ever going to do anything about the double-dipping situation?

Once Again, University of Minnesota General Counsel Takes It On The Chin

Mark Rotenberg, General Counsel at the University of Minnesota, Denialist in Chief?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guardians?)

Conflict of Interest at the University of Minnesota on Troubled Waters

Who's making factually incorrect statements at the University of Minnesota?

The University of Minnesota’s longtime general counsel Mark Rotenberg is leaving for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., officials said Monday. He will start his new position as vice president and general counsel June 3.

As the U’s top legal officer since 1992, Rotenberg’s career has intertwined with many of its biggest news stories, on topics from research grant abuse to sports scandals. He dealt with the paper-writing scandal under Gopher basketball coach Clem Haskins, the naming rights for TCF Bank Stadium and the five-year legal battle between former basketball coach Tubby Smith and Jimmy Williams over a rescinded job offer.

He has served under four presidents and 11 Board of Regents chairs.

Rotenberg, 58, said it has been “a great honor to have served as general counsel of the state’s most important public institution for all these years.”

Rotenberg has navigated the dual roles of general counsel, defending the U as well as investigating its wrongdoing.

“You need on the one hand to be a defender, an adviser, a counselor, a trusted partner,” Rotenberg said by phone from Baltimore. “And on the other hand, you must also be a government lawyer who protects the public interest when the client is engaged in, or alleged to be engaged in, bad acts.

“If you fail at either task, you’re not doing your job.”

In a news release, U President Eric Kaler said, “Mark has epitomized the kind of integrity and accountability that all public institutions like ours strive for.”

Simply pathetic...

A news release praised Rotenberg for his “extraordinary litigation successes,” including cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court was a career highlight, Rotenberg said, as was helping to reform the U’s athletics compliance.

“For a program of our size ... to not have had a single major [NCAA] infraction case in over 10 years is something I have been very proud of,” Rotenberg said.

From the Department of Re-Writing History?

It is interesting to see Mr. Rotenberg try to re-write history and imply that he was the one responsible for the clean up of athletics at the U. 

Interested readers might want to Google Tonya Moten Brown who took direct control of the Athletic Department reins during the period of recovery from scandal. For Mr. Rotenberg to be claiming credit for "lack of infractions" since one of the biggest scandals in sports history seems absurd. As General Counsel for the University one may reasonably ask, why wasn't he aware that there was something rotten in the state of Minnesota?

As George Orwell put it:

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." 

And so it goes. 

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