Approved by the: University Senate - February 24, 2000
Administration - May 24, 2000*
Board of Regents - no action required

STATEMENT ON RESEARCH VANDALISM

The Faculty Consultative Committee abhors the recent attacks on plant research on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. These attacks undermine the basic mission of the University and are a threat to the free inquiry that must be the hallmark of an institution of higher learning and of a free society. These attacks have also, at other times and places, have placed the lives of people in the research facilities in danger, sometimes life-threatening danger. The attacks are, in both a philosophical and a physical sense, an assault on the precepts that guide the life of a university.

The Faculty Consultative Committee, the Senate Research Committee, and the Academic Health Center Faculty Consultative Committee adopted the following resolution on April 7, 1999, following attacks on animal research laboratories in the Academic Health Center:

We are dismayed and alarmed at the recent acts of vandalism committed in University research facilities. These acts are a threat to academic freedom and to the integrity of the University. They reflect an anti-intellectualism and irrationality that is frightening. We are also saddened by the harm that such attacks have on research intended to advance human health.

We encourage the University administration and the civil authorities to take all necessary steps to identify and prosecute those who committed these acts of vandalism against University research facilities. We also extend our deep regrets and support to those faculty members, staff, and graduate students whose work has been affected, and ask that the administration provide resources to restore the records and facilities of those faculty members and graduate students.

The Faculty Consultative Committee repeats these sentiments and again urges the University administration and the civil authorities "to take all necessary steps to identify and prosecute those who committed these acts of vandalism against University research facilities." In addition, we ask that the administration pay closer attention to building security, access systems, and how the costs of security and systems are paid. We believe that consideration should be given to identifying security as a common good, rather than assessing individual departments that might be at increased risk of vandalism or violence.

We also again express our regrets and support to those whose research has been affected, and request that appropriate resources be made available to restore the research to the status quo ante to the maximum extent possible.

COMMENT

The Faculty Consultative Committee believes this an appropriate response to the recent acts of vandalism and asks the University Senate to endorse this resolution. If it does so, the wording will be changed appropriately to reflect the fact that it is a Senate statement rather than an FCC statement.

Adopted unanimously by FCC on February 17, 2000

(* Central administration strongly supports the spirit of this resolution; referred to a number of VP units to determine appropriate course of action for implementing the recommendations of this resolution.)

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