Univ. of S. Carolina clarifies purging Dr. Rekers

Timothy Kincaid

May 7th, 2010

We’ve heard a response from the University of South Carolina Medical School

Hello, Mr. Kincaid,

I have received your inquiry about Dr. Rekers’ bio information on the School of Medicine Web site. Recent media coverage called attention to the fact that his information was still on the site, when actually Dr. Rekers has been retired from the University of South Carolina since July 31, 2005, and has not had an affiliation with the university since that time.

I Hope this is helpful and that you have a very good weekend.

Sincerely,

Margaret M. Lamb
Media Relations Director
University of South Carolina

Which is nice and all that. But it does not explain why other retired professors continue to be listed as emeritus.

I’ve written back inquiring as to the school’s criteria.

UPDATE: I’ve heard back and It appears the Rekers situation has inspired the school to do a little housekeeping. And it seems that they will be applying a consistent standard:

Glad to try to eliminate confusion. The medical school does not have a policy, and, indeed, some emeritus professors, volunteer faculty and other retired faculty are still listed because they have maintained some contact with the medical school as active faculty by remaining available for teaching, consulting and service. However, medical school staff are going through Web site and over the next few weeks will post only names of active faculty whether employed and or volunteer.

I certainly can’t fault the school for that.

Graham Shevlin

May 7th, 2010

My initial response to this piece of doublespeak would be “Nice try…”. It will be interesting to see what their criteria are for keeping retired (probably anything that includes phrases like “as long as they don’t behave like hypocritical wankers in public and embarrass us”).

Erica B.

May 7th, 2010

I think their explanation is plausible. I attend USC, and their web pages are fairly well maintained but far from perfect — and that’s important stuff like the Bursar’s or Registrar’s office, so I’m not surprised faculty pages are given little attention. If Rekers didn’t ask for the page to be removed when he left, it’s unlikely anybody else would have thought of it.

Of course, having a professor emeritus publicly embarrass himself will expedite the cleanup process :-)

There is a wide range of “retired” — sometimes professors retire from teaching classes, but still do research and are thereby affiliated with the university. (Basically, that allows USC to avoid paying for classes taught, while still having access to the professor’s research funding…) If Rekers is no longer “affiliated,” then he’s fully retired.

Priya Lynn

May 7th, 2010

I don’t buy the line that “recent media coverage called attention to the fact that his information was still on the site”. If they had previously thought it was gone or forgotten about it they wouldn’t have had any reason to think it was there. They knew his profile was there prior to the coverage or they wouldn’t have thought to remove it after the story broke.

TheraP

May 7th, 2010

They’re not gonna get involved is how I read this. Well and good. We can therefore read between the lines – to our hearts’ content!

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