Does anyone remember François Sainfort and Julie Jacko, the faculty couple at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, accused of double-dipping salaries (collecting salaries simultaneously) from the University of Minnesota and the Georgia Institute of Technology? Last spring Mr. Sainfort pleaded guilty to making false statements, and a judge ordered him to make restitution payments.
Despite the guilty plea, it appears the University of Minnesota DID NOT IMMEDIATELY DISMISS the Professor after he admitted stealing from the University. In fact, according to a (rather subdued) report in the local paper, Professor Sainfort and his wife just announced they were finally resigning just last week in an e-mail to University of Minnesota faculty members. Of course, they declined to comment on the reasons for their departure.
If the legal conviction and public embarrassment of stealing from the University of Minnesota was not enough to dismiss the Sainforts or at least have them resign, why resign now? Is it possible the Sainforts’ sudden resignation has something to do with the scathing report published recently in the Wall Street Journal?
Recently, the Wall Street Journal (interesting that this was not first reported by any local investigative news media) reported that at the University of Minnesota, the number of employees with “human resources” or “personnel” in their job titles has grown from 180 to 272 since the 2004-05 academic year. Since 2006, the university has spent $10 million on consultants for a vast new housing development that is decades from completion. It employs 139 people for marketing, promotions and communications. Some 81 administrators make $200,000 per year or more.
In the past decade, Minnesota’s administrative payroll has gone up three times as fast as the teaching payroll, and twice as fast as student enrollment.
Oh, and tuition more than doubled in that same period, to more than $13,000 per year.
Management got so loosey-goosey at Minnesota, the Journal reported, that the school had no idea of such basic facts as how many employees report to each supervisor.
In other words, the Wall Street Journal concludes, the ultimate beneficiaries of all the government tuition subsidies are the highly paid administrators and faculty members whose hiring, and retention, it enables.
Minnesota’s president told the Journal his school’s doubling of “directors” at the Office of Equity and Diversity helped make the campus “more inclusive and more welcoming to people of different backgrounds.”
Is it possible that the administration at the University encouraged the Sainforts to “do the right thing” to avoid further scrutiny?