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May 09, 2011 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-09

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Monday, May 9, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily com

From Page 1
Though Borisov was acquit-
ted on criminal charges connect-
ed to the event, he went on to file
a grievance against DPS, which
led to Friday's release of a public
The committee's report found
that the "conduct of the officers
was inappropriate" because the
officers were asked to go beyond
their usual duties and act in ways
that were not covered under DPS
authority. This included the offi-
cers' supervision of Borisov as
he resigned and cleaned out his
office, adding that the department
chair should have supervised both
of acts.
The report examines the man-
agement of situations like Bor-
isov's by DPS by suggesting that
officers not be in the room during
such meetings. The report claims
they should only serve as "civil
standby," and stay directly outside
the room to diminish any intimi-
dation their presence may cause.
Tim Slottow, the University's
executive vice president and chief
financial officer, wrote in a May 6
press release that no disciplinary
actions will be enacted against the
DPS officers. He added that the
report helps to better define the
role DPS should have on campus.
"I appreciate the efforts, ener-
gy and thoughtful work by the
committee on the complaint from
Dr. Borisov," Slottow wrote. "I am
pleased that the committee did not
recommend disciplinary measures
be taken against the DPS officers."
"As I told the committee when
'From Page 1
equipment," Hu said.
Jeff Mason, executive director
of the URC, said the funds were
awarded to the URC with the
hope of increasing the amount of
joint research between the three
universities, and in turn leading
to increased research funding for
the state.
"(Funding) is going to create
more collaboration with faculty
from across the three campuses
and in doing so will create more
successful and competitive pro-
posals that potentially could lead
to more funding from the National
Institute of Health and other fed-
eral sources that will bring dollars
into the state."

we met, I strive to create a culture
where we continuously improve,"
he added. "The comments and
recommendations the committee
provided will serve as a founda-
tion to help us successfully craft
and implement the necessary
The report also suggested
that if DPS is called, a University
human resource representative
should be requested to advise the
departing employee in a situation
like Borisov's. Borisov claims that
on Sept. 4, 2008, he repeatedly
asked about the consequences of
resignation versus termination,
but received no advice from any-
one present in the room.
An April 22 press release from
the University regarding the Bor-
isov incident states that such pol-
icy changes are necessary because
they will help prevent similar inci-
dents from occurring.
"The University acknowledges
that more fully articulated proce-
dures and expectations may have
led to a more positive outcome
for all parties," the release stated.
"The University regrets any incor-
rect information published about
these events that harmed Dr. Bor-
isov's reputation."
Sarah Prescott, a lawyer work-
ing on Borisov's case, said she
received a final report on March
17, but that it differed from the
version released to the public on
Prescott said she received
an e-mail from Law School Prof.
Richard Friedman, a faculty mem-
ber of the DPS Oversight Commit-
tee, with the March 17 version of
the report, saying that the Com-
mittee was planning on publically

releasing the report on March 24
unless there was a reason it would
be inappropriate to do so.
Although Prescott didn't con-
test the report's public release, it
was not made public until last Fri-
day after a series of meetings with-
in the University where members
of the DPS Oversight Committee
further discussed their concerns
and edited the report.
Prescott said she thought
these changes were made to lessen
the blow to the University's image.
She added that one discrepancy
from the March 17 report was that
is states there was a University
human resources representative
present at the meeting with Bor-
isov to address his confusion about
the difference between resigna-
tion and termination.
Prescott said the changes that
were made from the final report
she saw and the one released
on Friday "were pretty telling"
because the removed remarks por-
trayed the University negatively.
"It's absolutely ridiculous
for a committee to issue a report
to the parties involved and then
one party decides it'd like to keep
working on changes to that item
until they apparently approved
it, and only then does the second
report - modified - get released
as, quote-unquote, the final
report," Prescott said.
Prescott added that Borisov
sued the University in a civil law-
suit regarding the incident that
was filed with Washtenaw Circuit
Court in 2009.
"I think (the settlement ver-
sus a trial) says a whole, whole
lot about what they saw, in terms
of their exposure for the way that

(the University) behaved," she
said. "The University settled with
Dr. Borisov and paid him a signifi-
cant amount of money."
Along with the settlement, the
University released a public apol-
ogy on April 22 and Borisov was
also made eligible for rehire at the
Prescott said that she believes
the officers should have received
some form of punishment for their
"He is a professional who had
served this University as of that
moment and brought millions and
millions of dollars of grant money
into the University," she said. "For
them to treat him like they did -
like a trespasser, someone who
has broken in, in the middle of the
night - is absolutely ridiculous."
Prescott added that she thinks
the incident has negatively affect-
ed both Borisov's and the Univer-
sity's image.
"One way or another, the fact
of the matter is these officers con-
tributed to a situation where a
person was prosecuted wrongly,"
she said. "...They led to a situation
where the University has now had
to pay out hundreds and hundreds
of thousands of dollars in legal
fees and money to Dr. Borisov."
Richard Friedman, law profes-
sor and faculty member of the DPS
Oversight Committee, wrote in an
e-mail interview that the report
was written to deal with the prob-
lems that DPS faced in Borisov's
case and to prevent them from
occurring again.
"I think the report covers
everything it should," Friedman
said. "We were not concerned with
the causes of Dr. Borisov's separa-

tion from the department of pedi-
atrics. Our concern is with DPS.
In this case, a significant part of
the problem was that DPS officers
were put in a position to perform
functions that were not appropri-
ate for them."
Rebecca Egler, a student
member of the DPS Oversight
Committee, said the report com-
prehensively covers the essential
information about the case.
"The process of writing the
Borisov report was long and pre-
cise, which I think is clear in the
final product," Egler said. "It was
a good, democratic experience for
the committee and we did our best
to deliver a thorough and thought-
ful end product, which is hopeful-
ly evident in the report itself."
The report comes about a year
after the Senate Advisory Com-
mittee on University Affair's Fac-
ulty Hearing Committee filed a
55-page report stating that Univer-
sity officials had violated Borisov's
"rights and academic freedom" by
forcing him to resign, according
to a May 23, 2010, article in The
Michigan Daily.
The article also said that the
SACUA report explained how
Borisov's resignation "broke
established University policies
surrounding academic integrity,
wrongfully damaged Borisov's
reputation and retaliated against
SACUA Chair Kate Barald
wrote in an e-mail interview that
the suggestions made in the report
should help to prevent a situa-
tion like Borisov's from happen-
ing again, adding that SACUA is
unable to comment further until
they deliberate over the report.

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