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September 08, 1994 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-08

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Page 6 THE MICHIGAN DAILY, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1994
Comm. rofessor sues over 'U' retaliation Misspent funds
June 1994

By BETH HARRIS
Daily Staff Reporter
A University adjunct professor is writing
yet another chapter in the ongoing saga within
the communication department.
Jonathan Friendly, director of the Master's
Program in Journalism, has filed a lawsuit
against the University claiming thathis role in
prompting a recent departmental audit cost
him a renewal of his contract.
General Counsel Elsa Cole said the Uni-
versity officially was served with papers re-
garding the lawsuiton Sept. I.The University
has to file a formal answer by Sept. 22.
Friendly's complaint stems from last year's
audit of the communication department. The
department was audited because of allegations
that three endowments - the Harry and Helen
F. Weber, the Howard R. Marsh Professorship
in Journalism, and the Howard R. Marsh
Center for the Study of Journalistic Perfor-
mance - were being misspent.
"It was my actions that led to the audit,"
Friendly asserted. "I made sure that the audit
took place because the money was not being
spent the way the donors were told it was being
spent."
After helping to bring the misspending into

the open, Friendly said he was made aware that
his contract with the University was not being
renewed. "According to University procedures,
they must notify you in September of your last
year if your contract isn't going to be renewed.
They didn't," Friendly said.
Instead of the three-yearcontract, Friendly's
lawsuit -claims that LSA Dean Edie N.
Goldenberg and then-chair of the communica-
tion department L. Rowell Huesmann "unilat-
erally imposed aone-year contract containing
less desirable terms and conditions."
Friendly said in the lawsuit that he had tried
to notify Huesmann and Goldenberg of the
misuse of the grant funds, but the attempt was
futile. Friendly then reported the misuse to
Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor).
In his report to Power, Friendly asserted that
the University should stop using the funds in a
manner contrary to the original intent of the
grantors. Friendly said he told Power that the
misrepresentation of funds should be rectified
by the University.
The suit also alleges that Goldenberg mis-
represented the spending of the Marsh Fund in
a letter toPower. Power declined to commenton
litigation pending against the University.
In response to his involvement with the

auditors and his cooperation with their investi-
gation, Friendly claims the University failed to
"timely notify (him) that his three-year contract
would not be renewed and instead denied (him)
arenewal of his three-yearcontract to which he
was otherwise entitled."
In the lawsuit, Friendly also claims that
Goldenberg and Huesmann retaliated and dis-
criminated against him because of his insis-
tence that they rectify the misuse of the funds.
James Fett, the lawyer representing Friendly
in this case, said, "We hope to gain fair and
equitable treatment on the same level that his
peers are being treated. That reason he's not
receiving that equitable treatment is because he
chose to oppose inappropriate, unethical, and,
perhaps, illegal activities."
The lawsuit further alleges that Goldenberg
and Huesmann retaliated and discriminated
against him because they believed he would
report their conduct.
"They are mad at me for bringing the issue of
spending of the endowment funds into the open,
which hadn't yet been done," Friendly said.
If the allegations are proven true, the Uni-
versity could be found guilty of violating the
Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act and
the University's own contract-renewal proce-

dures. The Whistleblower Protection Act was
established to protect people who report offi-
cial misconduct or wrongdoing.
The University feels "confident" about its
ability to win the case, said Walter Harrison,
vice president for University relations. "I've
spoken to Jonathan about his allegations, and
there's just no substance to his charges. We
will show that in court."
Friendly said he and Fett attempted to
negotiate with the University before the com-
plaint was filed, but to no avail.
"We've been in negotiations since last
October. We didn't reach any agreement and
that's when the lawsuit was filed," he said.
Friendly is seeking judgement against the
University in whatever amount the court deter-
mines to be fair. Friendly is also claiming
economic and noneconomic hardships result-
ing from the ordeal, including "pain, suffering,
and mental anguish," and said those conditions
will persist in the future.
He is requesting a renewal of his contract for
three years on the same terms and conditions as
other faculty members and an injunction against
further retaliation by the University.
-Daily StaffReporter Cathy Boguslaski
contributed to this report.

An internal audit by the University
discovered misspending of
communication department
endowments. Loose spending
guidelines allowed communication
department officials to use more
than $400,000 in private donations
"not in accordance with the
donors' intentions," according to
the audit.
June 16, 1994
Following the internal audit,
President James J. Duderstadt
announced at the June Board of
Regents meeting that he had taken
steps to restore the misused funds.
Besides those steps, the University
will require each academic unit to
submit to the provost a written
description of the scholarly activity
supported by the endowment or
fund.
July 1994
Jonathan Friendly, director of the
Master's Program in Journalism,
filed a lawsuit claiming that his role
in prompting the communication
department audit cost him his
three-year contract.

*1

Be a part of the organization that brought Dennis Miller,
Betty Shabazz, Spike Lee, Girbaud, Soul Asylum,
and Daryl Gates to the University of Michigan.
Be a COMMITTEE MEMBER for the Larg-
est Student-Run Organization on Campus,
the University Activities Center.

U.S., Cuba suspend negotiations *

Newsday
WASHINGTON - Refugee talks
in New York between the United States
and Cuba recessed yesterday as the
Cuban negotiator headed home for con-
sultations and a senior U.S. official
voiced optimism about a settlement.
During the six days of talks, Wash-
ington has sought to stop the exodus of
Cubans heading forFlorida, while Cuba
has demanded that the United States
consider relaxing the economic em-
bargo against the island, which the
Cubans say is the cause oftheircountry's

problems and the refugee flood.
With the United States refusing to
discuss the embargo and insisting that
it will only talk about the refugees,
the talks seemed at an impasse until
yesterday.
But the senior U.S. official told re-
porters that a proposal delivered to the
American side Tuesday evening by chief
Cuban negotiator Ricardo Alarcon had
elements that "contained significant
improvements" from the U.S. point of
view and "were seen as acceptable"
because they "represented a basis for us

to proceed further."
He characterized chief U.S. nego-
tiator Michael Skol, a deputy assis-
tant secretary of state, as "optimis-
tic." During yesterday's hourlong
meeting, the United States gave its
reply. And as a result, Alarcon de-
cided to return to Havana.
Details of the Cuban proposal and
the U.S. response were not known, and
the State Department declined to com-
ment. But earlier the United States had
offered to increase legal migration of
Cubans to more than 20,000 a year.

UAC Day - Info Booth
Wednesday, Sept. 21st * All Day {*

Union Basement

UAC Mass Meeting Dates:
Tuesday, Sept. 27th @ 7pm Union Ballroom
Wednesday, Sept. 28th Bursley Hall (N. Campus)
Get Involved!
University Activities Center
2105 Michigan Union
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1349

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THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PROVOST FOR ACADEMIC AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS*
AND THE OFFICE OF ACADEMIC MULTICULTURAL INITIATIVES**
WELCOME OUR NEW STUDENTS!
HAVE A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL YEAR AND
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DIVERSITY TRAINING PROGRAM
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CHICANO HISTORY WEEK
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For further information please contact:

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