Monday, June 7 , 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1
mittee at the time and now serves as
the chair of SACUA.
In interviews with The Michi-
gan Daily, Stark said the report was
formally adopted by the FHC while
Rothman said that only Stark had
voted to move the report forward and
the two other committee members
opposed such action.
In a signed affidavit sent to the
Daily, Rothman and Architecture
Prof. Mojtaba Navvab, the third
member of the FHC, swore that at
no point in time did they ever vote to
formally adopt the final report of the
FHC on the Borisov case.
"As two of the three members of
the 2009-2010 SACUA Faculty Hear-
ing Committee, we state that at no
time did we endorse in final form any
version of the FHC report in the case
of Dr. Borisov and, therefore, there
was no such report ever endorsed by
a majority of the FHC," the affidavit
However, in a letter to Rothman
accompanied by e-mail records,
From Page 2
441,000 gallons of oil to the water's
surface, however, many believe that
these efforts pale in comparison to the
approximately 798,000 gallons of oil
that are currently spilling each day.
BP's next initiative in the efforts
entails removing the remaining oil
that has surfaced alongthe Gulf, which
will be accomplished through the con-
struction of relief wells.
University professors and research-
ers such as David Uhlmann, the direc-
tor of the Environmental Law and
Policy Program at the Law School, are
not only investigating the ecological
damages, but also the legal and busi-
Stark wrote that Navvab did vote to
approve the FHC report.
"I disagree with your statement
that there is no final SACUA Faculty
Hearing Committee (FHC) Report,"
Stark wrote in his letter to Roth-
man. "I find the events you describe
regarding the operation of the Facul-
ty Hearing Committee to be incom-
plete and the logic used to draw your
conclusions to be faulty."
"Last Friday, you told me on the
phone you approved the report of the
FHC," Stark added in an e-mail con-
versation to Navvab, then continu-
ing in his e-mail to outline additions
to the report he had made since the
In his response, Navvab said he
agreed with the additions Stark had
made, though Navvab did not explic-
itly reaffirm or counter his alleged
support for the final report as a
Navvab, who was traveling last
week, did not respond to an e-mail
request for comment.
Stark's letter continued to detail
what he alleges to have happened,
including a unanimous vote by the
FHC to adopt a draft of the report
ness ramifications that BP will face in
light of the seemingly limitless after-
"BP and the other companies
involved in the Gulf oil spill face sig-
nificant criminal and civil penalties,"
Uhlmann said. "Exxon paid a total of
$1.1 billion for the Valdez spill, and the
penalties in the BP case are likely to be
Uhlmann, who also served as the
chief of the Department of Justice's
environmental crimes section dur-
ing the Clinton and George W. Bush
administrations for seven years, added
that an earlier response to the spill
could have helped reduce the ramifica-
"In hindsight, it might have been
better if the government did more in
and a 2-1 vote to accept the final
report, which did not receive support
in a SACUA-wide vote.
"The fact that SACUA voted
against SACUA accepting the report
on April 19, 2010 does not change the
Faculty Hearing Committee's vote,"
He added, "Because a member of
the FHC voted to approve the final
report as a FHC report does not mean
they will necessarily vote to have it
accepted as a SACUA report."
Stark's comment refers to what he
said was a change in position by one
FHC member who allegedly voted
for the report in the FHC, but voted
against it in SACUA's vote.
Stark also alleges that the record-
ed tally of the SACUA vote, reported
in the group's April 19, 2010 minutes
as 5-1 not to accept the report, is
inaccurate and that in actuality two
people voted to approve the report.
Stark told the Daily that SACUA
voted in executive session 5-2 not to
accept the report. However, Stark
said he had to leave to catch a flight
those at the meeting that he wanted
his vote to be in support of the report
and that his vote should have been
recorded as such.
Asked about the SACUA vote,
Rothman said he couldn't com-
ment on whether the vote count was
accurate, but said that the vote was
recorded by the other person Stark
believed was supporting the report.
All votes of SACUA are recorded by
the SACUA secretary, who at the
time was Biology Prof. John Lehman.
In either case of a 5-1 or 5-2 vote,
the motion not to accept the report
would still have carried. What
remains unclear is why the report
was sent to SACUA if it was never ini-
tially approved by the FHC.
According to Rothman, the report
was sent to SACUA against parlia-
mentary procedures used in bod-
ies like the United States House of
Representatives and Senate because
SACUA is a small body and many
members were already aware of
much of the committee's work and
had an interest in reviewing the
And while disagreement contin-
ues over whether a formal report
was ever adopted by the FHC, which
would end the committee's work on
the case, both sides say they agree
that Borisov deserves a response to
his claim filed with the Faculty Hear-
"As I've promised the members of
SACUA, I won't rest until we getsome
resolution to the issues that surround
this," Rothman said in an interview
Friday, adding that Borisov's litiga-
tion against the University doesn't
make the process of resolving the
issue internally easy.
Similarly, Stark said he believed
Borisov deserves closure on this
issue, which Stark said was supposed
to be brought out in the formalized
"Dr. Borisov deserves some type of
answer from faculty governance as to
what it found," Stark said. Stark also
said he thinks it's interesting that no
one is questioning the facts of the
before the group came back into open
session and re-voted on the issue.
Nonetheless, Stark said he informed
the early days to contain the spill and
limit its effects, rather than relying
so much on BP to lead the emergency
response, but crisis management is
never perfect," he said.
Though research is being done on a
global scale in attempt to resolve the
effects of the spill, there are few defi-
nite answers about the region's future
in the underwater ecosystems and
within populated communities.
Uhlmann added that BP faces an
uncertain future as well.
"It is not clear how successful a
company BP will be after the oil spill
is resolved," Uhlmann said. "But
there is no question that there will be
dramatic consequences for BP, which
will weaken the company for many
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