Monday, April 20, 2015

"What did the president know and when did he know it?" (Markingson case)

A Restoration of Trust Part II

President Kaler continues to assert that none of the previous external reviews of clinical research trials contain any findings of misconduct. See p. 2 of his March 18, 2015 Response to Report of Legislative Auditor.

His assertion omits any reference to the 2012 review by the Minnesota Board of Social Work of the U of M coordinator for the CAFE study. Perhaps the most damning findings were these:

2(g)(1) Despite the large amount of data gathered as part of the CAFE study, the records are devoid of any evidence that the data was critically analyzed or used in the treatment planning process. . . . 
2 (g)(4) There were critical omissions in Licensee's [U of M study coordinator] documentation that were relevant to suicide prevention and chemical dependency treatment. . .  
2(h) On March 17, 2004 Licensee received an e-mail message from the CAFE study sponsor warning of a new risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes for patients taking medications used in the CAFE study. This new information effectively invalidated client #1's [Dan Markingson's] original informed consent. 
See pp. 4--5 of the Report of Minnesota Board of Social Work  (emphasis added).

The U of M administration was aware of this report as it dispatched general counsel Mark Rotenberg to proclaim that the coordinator was no longer an employee of the University. See Corrective Action. This attempt to evade any accountability was the only response from the administration.

In a June 5, 2013 letter Leigh Turner reminded Kaler of the review by the Board of Social Work. See p. 3 of his Response to the  President . Yet in his public statements Kaler continues to omit any reference to the review. Instead he claims that "we hold ourselves responsible and accountable." See Statement to Higher Education Committee.

How can the U of M administration restore trust when there are critical omissions in the public statements of the president?

Or as senator Howard Baker asked during the Watergate hearings: "What did the president know and when did he know it?" See Watergate Hearings.

Michael W. McNabb

University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974

University of Minnesota Alumni Association life member

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