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Minister lashes out at University in Penkowa-case

The Minister of Science has put the University of Copenhagen under close government supervision, after the University's own board cleared its own management of responsibility in Penkowa case Tuesday

Minister of Science Charlotte Sahl-Madsen has put the University of Copenhagen under a so-called ‘heightened supervision’ status, and releases a strongly worded criticism of the Board of Executives.

This is after the University’s Board concluded Tuesday that neither Rector nor other employees of the University of Copenhagen have given undue favour to scientist Milena Penkowa.

In the Board’s interpretation of the just released report from their legal counsel ‘Kammeradvokaten’, the process involved no nepotism on the part of Rector Ralf Hemmingsen or other university employees.

Read article: Rector Ralf Hemmingsen off the hook

University could have acted differently

The Minister of Science will have none of it:

»I have asked for the Board of Executives’ evaluation of the University of Copenhagen’s actions in the case. The Board has told me that the University could not have acted differently than it did.«

»I don’t agree with this evaluation. I think that during the course of the case a number of errors of judgment took place, which a responsible Board must take a position on. I am left with the impression of insufficient follow-up. This gives me the occasion to seriously criticise the Board of the University of Copenhagen in this case«.

Read article: No notes from call to Spanish company

Board not fired, did nothing illegal

The University of Copenhagen has been put under heightened supervision to make sure that the »trust in the University of Copenhagen« will be restored, she says.

Despite the harsh criticism, the Minister will not fire the Board of Executives.

»There is no reason to depose the Board. This would have been the case if there was an actual breach of the law, or that the continuation of the University of Copenhagen was in danger. This is not the case,« she writes.

Read article: Report: Rector’s actions were legal.

Board: We did everything we should

The Board of Executives at the University of Copenhagen rejects the Minister of Science’s criticism

Chairman Nils Strandberg Pedersen says to news agency Ritzau that the Board has followed the book.

»We have taken a position on all of the points of criticism in the ‘Kammeradvokaten’ (legal counsel…ed. ) report,« he says.

Responsibility placed: The Board

Vice-chairman Claus Bræstrup has a further interpretation of the sharp criticism of the University of Copenhagen by the Minister.

»When things don’t go the way you want, it is always the top that has to take responsibility. This responsibility has been put on the Board,« he says.

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