December 5, 2013: University of Minnesota Faculty Senate Passes the “Resolution on the matter of the Markingson case”

Shortly after Mike Howard delivered the petition to Governor Dayton, Faculty Senators cast their votes following discussion of the “Resolution on the matter of the Markingson case.” The resolution passed 67-23 December 5, 2013.

Whereas Lemmens and colleagues as well as the faculty senators calling for a resolution to be placed before the Faculty Senate requested an investigation of the Markingson case and the CAFÉ study, the approved resolution called for “an inquiry examining current policies, practices, and oversight of clinical research on human subjects at the University, in particular clinical research involving adult participants with diminished functional abilities.” President Kaler and other senior university administrators would subsequently state that the review would not address the Markingson case and the CAFÉ study and would instead be limited to an examination of current research practices, policies, and oversight structures.

Advocates for an independent investigation of alleged psychiatric research misconduct challenged the narrow focus on current policies and practices. They noted that the resolution itself mentions the Markingson case and they highlighted the incongruity of conducting a review that would not examine the very case that prompted calls for an investigation.

University of Minnesota Faculty Senate, “Resolution on the matter of the Markingson case,” December 5, 2013.

News Media Reports and Blog Posts Addressing Approval of the Faculty Senate Resolution

News media reports following the Faculty Senate meeting noted uncertainty about the exact scope of the inquiry proposed in the approved resolution. One reporter wrote, “Whether the vote called for a broad look only at the university’s research practices, or a specific examination of the Markingson case, was a matter of dispute after the vote.” Days later, in an interview with the Minnesota Daily, President Eric Kaler stated, “it’s not a review of the Markingson case; it’s a review of what we are doing now and what we’re going to do moving forward.”

Cody Nelson and Emma Nelson, “Faculty take on clinical drug trials,” Minnesota Daily, December 5, 2013.

Jeremy Olson, “U faculty calls for review of controversial drug study,” Minneapolis StarTribune, December 5, 2013.

Jeff Baillon, “U of M Senate Resolves to Review Human Research,” KMSP-Fox 9, December 5, 2013.

Alex Friedrich, “UMN President agrees to outside review of clinical research practices,” MPR News, December 5, 2013.

Susan Perry, “Faculty Senate votes for inquiry into U’s clinical-trial practices,” Minn Post, December 6, 2013.

Judy Stone, “UMN agrees to outside review of clinical research practices—but what parts and by whom?” Scientific American Molecules to Medicine Blog, December 6, 2013.

Kia Farhang and Marion Renault, “Faculty push for independent research review,” Minnesota Daily, December 9, 2013.

Meghan Holden, “Kaler talks Markingson case, bowl game,” Minnesota Daily, December 11, 2013.

Daily Editorial Board, “U should move forward with review; After the death of Dan Markingson, President Kaler should allow for a review of university research,” Minnesota Daily, December 11, 2013.

Carl Elliott, “Kaler on Faculty Senate resolution: “It’s not a review of the Markingson case,” Fear and Loathing in Bioethics, December 11, 2013.

Carl Elliott, “Investigate the Markingson Suicide? Not so Fast, Says University President,” Mad in America, December 16, 2013.

Matt Lamkin, “Will the U review or whitewash a research subject’s death?Minneapolis StarTribune, December 18, 2013.

David Cyranoski, “Patient’s suicide forces belated university investigation,” Nature News Blog, December 19, 2013.

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