Error-stricken article falls below Daily standards

Recent coverage in The Minnesota Daily has not met our usual high standards.

Friday’s article, “Reorganization of one U department could force layoffs” requires significant correction.

First, while Michael Perkins, associate vice president for Capital Planning and Project Management, is now overseeing a comprehensive departmental review, he did not say layoffs are imminent. He also did not say “Ö 55 University architects, engineers and student workers could face layoffs.”

Instead, Elizabeth Toal, a University human resources official, told Daily reporter Nathan Hall that there are approximately 55 administrative employees in the Department of Capital Planning and Project Management. This was incorrectly attributed to Perkins.

Toal said she cannot further comment about the impact of the review process or its outcome because she is not involved with it.

But layoffs are under consideration.

Nearly all administrative employees moved or laid off as a result of the review will know of any changes six months or more in advance, said Lori-Anne Williams, communications director for University Services.

The purpose of the review is to determine the most efficient way for the department to utilize its personnel, Williams said. The development of the department as a part of the review is expected to take up to five years.

Second, University Services Vice President Kathleen O’Brien did not say, “Ö changing the way publicly funded construction projects operate was integral to restoring public trust and confidence in the college.”

Instead, O’Brien said via e-mail that she told Hall, “This reorganization will achieve the president’s and my objective to restore trust and confidence in the design and construction process” used by the University.

The review by the department is intended to contribute to building this confidence, Williams said.

Third, Eric Kruse, former vice president for University Services, left his position in February 2002. He was not Perkins’ predecessor.

Fourth, Michael Denny, former interim associate vice president for the Capital Planning and Project Management department, is now a consultant for the University but holds no official position.

– John Schaus is The Minnesota Daily’s reader’s representative and as such acts as the Daily’s ombudsman. He is independent of the newsroom and deals with reader concerns and issues of accuracy in the Daily’s reporting.