Donated Funds Mishandled

Editor’s Note: The premise of this editorial is patently false. The editorial posited that the University of Minnesota should give back donations from prominent Twin Cities businessman Tom Petters, who authorities suspect is a central figure in a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme. In August, Petters pledged $250,000 to Carlson School of ManagementâÄôs Hanson Hall and three conference rooms were to be named after PettersâÄô business interests. The University, however, never received or even booked the pledge. The editorial remains for transparency purposes. Last Thursday, The Minnesota Daily reported that the University of Minnesota has received as much as $250,000 in pledges to Carlson School of Business from former Twin Cities businessman Tom Petters. When news arose that Petters and his colleagues were being investigated by the FBI for an elaborate $3 billion investment fraud scheme, the University publically announced that it would keep the $250,000 despite the acquisitions, a stance that should be reversed immediately. Unlike political leaders such as Sen. Norm Coleman, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the University has announced no intention of returning any funds. University Spokesman Dan Wolter has announced that the University will instead rename several conference rooms in the new Hanson Hall that were to be named after PettersâÄô companies. The UniversityâÄôs decision to keep the funds but rename the conference rooms contradicts the philosophy Carlson students should learn. Our countryâÄôs economic outlook has become increasingly grim, due, in part, to the greed of everyday investors. By keeping the money but, at the same time, removing PettersâÄô name from the building entirely, the University has motioned its intent to disown Petters but keep the money he gave. This strategy effectively indicates the UniversityâÄôs willingness to partake in the same greed that has recently beset the American public. Along with other institutions around the country, the University is forced to make the difficult decision of whether to keep the donated funds. It should take a lead role and give back every cent of what Petters donated, while simultaneously eliminating his tainted name from all campus buildings. This would send the correct message to University students and the general public that this institution is not willing to tolerate the corruption and greed that has hurt so many innocent people.