Resignation sparks concern

Daily Editorial Board

Scott Studham abruptly resigned as the University of Minnesota’s chief information officer Sept. 4 before investigations into several complaints alleging his misconduct began, the Minnesota Daily reported Monday.
 
The complaints allege Studham misused University funds, unfairly hired his friends and misused vacation days. Studham has denied the allegations in writing, saying his actions were within University policy or simply mistakes. 
 
President Eric Kaler said, in a press release last week, that he asked Studham to resign his position, although Kaler also said the allegations pending against Studham did not factor into the request. Rather, Kaler said the motivating factor was the culture in the Office of Information Technology.
 
Studham is the third in a string of University administrators who have stepped down or undergone investigation in recent months. Former Athletics Director Norwood Teague stepped down Aug. 6 after accusations of sexual harassment, and Executive Associate Athletics Director Mike Ellis took a voluntary leave of absence while an investigation into complaints against him unfolds. 
 
The complaints involving the three University leaders were made through the school’s anonymous EthicsPoint reporting system, where community members can electronically report suspected violations of University regulations.
 
The number of complaints against these senior administrators at the University is concerning. Students and employees should be able to trust and rely on senior leadership. 
 
At the same time, it’s encouraging that the University provides the necessary resources like EthicsPoint to hold its officials accountable. We support the administration’s commitment to accepting and responding to these community concerns.