Sunday, June 7, 2015

For the Record: Recent U graduate appalled by President Kaler's Counterpoint on Research Ethics

(emphasis mine)
As a 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota, I was appalled by the May 31 “counterpoint” from university President Eric Kaler. As a student, I was active sharing my comments, concerns and criticisms with Kaler and his staff. I have always believed in the excellence of the University of Minnesota, but that faith does not extend to Kaler, his administration or our Board of Regents. 
Kaler mischaracterized the legislative auditor’s report, the scope of which was on the broad institutional “culture of fear” that systematically ignored “serious ethical issues.” 

The fact that Kaler cited numerous reviews that span a decade highlights continued failure. Further, the report concluded Dr. Stephen Olson’s research had “numerous” conflicts of interest, adding that he had “inappropriately” delegated work in research that involved people’s lives. I wonder then what kind of accountability we are getting when Olson continues to influence students, staff and the department? 
We have yet to see Kaler do more than pay lip service to these issues without demonstrating the courage to act. Yet why would he or the Board of Regents feel compelled to act when there is no accountability? We cannot continue to have good faith in those who have routinely and consistently failed us.

Chris Getowicz, Minneapolis

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