Monday, May 02, 2005

Is the University of Texas fit to run a nuclear laboratory?

From Anonymous:

Is the University of Texas fit to run a nuclear laboratory? It already has many serious problems with security, safety, mismanagement, discrimination, sexual harrassment, retaliation, transparency, intellectual freedom, and whistleblowing. The sleaze and arrogance factors are also very high.

The following is a very small sample of recent problems in the UT system:


Issues: Computer Security (2003)

Hackers break into the UT computer system and access personal data on 55,000+ students, faculty, and alumni because UT stupidly used social security numbers as IDs. UT delayed a public acknowledgment of the break in, until the press starts asking questions.

Sources: Joshua Benton, The Dallas Morning News, Business News; 3/7/2003; Kris Banks, “Hackers break into U. Texas computer system”,
University Wire; 3/6/2003

Issues: Computer Security (2003)

34 major vulnerabilities are identified in UT computer systems.

Source: Patrick McGee, “University of Texas System Considers Audits of All 15 Campuses”, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Business News, 8/7/2003.

Issues: Science Mismanagement, Integrity (2002)

Mismanagement, poor record keeping, illegal selling of body parts in willed-body program at UT Hospital. In addition, body parts carrying infectious, and even fatal, viruses could have been accidentally sent to dozens of research facilities across the nation. Furthermore, the ashes of dozens of donor bodies had been mixed, so that family members who had requested them could not be sure they were getting their loved ones' ashes. Allen Tyler was fired as head of the cadaver program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He allegedly made more than $4,000 by selling fingernails and toenails to a pharmaceutical company and might have sold other body parts.

Sources: “A look at scandals in the U.S. involving alleged sales of human tissue”, AP Worldstream, The Associated Press, 3/10/2004; Kevin Moran, “University of Texas Hospital Suspends Body-Parts Program”, Houston Chronicle, 8/7/2002

Issues: Science Mismanagement, Integrity (2002)

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center tested an experimental cancer drug on 195 patients without informing them its president, Dr. John Mendelsohn, had a financial interest in the medication.

Source: Todd Ackerman, “University of Texas Cancer Center Changes Drug-Study Policy after Conflict”, Houston Chronicle, 7/1/2002

Issues: Computer Security, Child Pornography, Retaliation (2004)

The University of Texas Police Department is investigating whether 10 physicians and other employees at the university's Health Science Center at Houston who were found to have misused university computers by viewing pornography have also violated child-pornography laws. Cynthia M. Davis, the Houston campus's audit manager, who initially investigated the 10 employees and found that they had used university computers to view pornography was retaliated against for reporting the misuse.

Source: Robin Wilson, “U. of Texas Investigates Possible Violations of Child-Pornography Laws”, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2004, Volume 50, Issue 24, Page A10


[Lots of stuff deleted. I'll put a link of it up later --Doug]

Issues: Sexual Harassment (1994-1997)

An alarming analysis of sexual harassment problems at UT based on interviews of female students, 1994-1997.


Shoot, they sound over qualified to me.
I have seen similar lists for the University of California. I agree with 06:24, by comparison UT is over qualified. Let's be true to ourselves, in any larger organization including the House and Senate, the FBI, the CIA, and any major university system there are issues. Note that none of these institutions were shut down for six months nor should they have been. However, a UC representative, George P. Nanos, did that here and for a year was part of the conspiracy to pretend the shut-down was justified.
A Texan is running the country; why can't a Texas university run our nuclear research programs?
The last question answers itself.
This is not particularly surprising or disturbing. Large organizations are just a smaller version of society.
Read an IG or GAO audit of LANL and you could come up with a similar list.

Get real, dude!
Give me a break. It seems there are some here that think no one is good enough to run LANL. People need to get real.
This entry takes up way too much space on the blog front page and is
a case of over-kill. Doug, please at least collapse it down to a
minor link of some sort. Personally, I think it smacks of pettiness.
As others have said, such a list could be drawn up for many organizations.
This post broke the scroll-wheel on my mouse! It's way too long. We get the point, however this post is too detailed with petty facts. Better discretion is needed for posts such as these.
You forgot to add the parking tickets that UT Regents have received over
the last decade. Shame on you.
... and yet they have never found it necessary to shutdown operations.
So sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, ethics violations, medical fraud, etc. is all just business as usual?

Definition: Mississippi with cadillac highways
The anonymous postings on this blog have that similar Neocon congressional whine to them.

Maybe the best thing is to get rid of all the whiners and put people in who will do whatever it takes to get the job done correctly and within budget
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