U of M President asked top officer to resign

- University of Minnesota President Eric Kahler said in a statement Friday he requested the resignation of the school’s top technology officer, who stepped down last week.

Scott Studham had been vice president of information technology for three years, making $256,000 a year. He told the Wall Street Journal he was stepping down to train for ironman competitions and to launch an education technology startup.

However, Kahler said in statement released Friday he asked Studham to step aside.

Kahler also said there had been complaints filed with the university about the former vice president’s judgement, but they were not the reason he asked Studham to resign.

“My decision centered on the culture in his unit and his relationship with his peers," Kahler said in the statement.

Fox 9 confirmed there were four heavily redacted complaints filed against Studham, accusing him of rigging contracts, hiring friends and using university funds for personal expenses. The university has yet to launch a full investigation.

Altogether there were six separate ethics complaints filed against Studham. Three were still open, when he resigned and three were unsubstantiated.

One complaint involved a pig roast Studham hosted, seen as insensitive to those who cannot eat pork. Another allegation claimed he used marijuana with someone in the IT department who was actually dealing it, however no evidence was found to back it up.  Another unsubstantiated allegation claimed he was improperly receiving gifts from companies doing an $80 million dollar systems upgrade.

Studham received three months’ severance and agreed not to sue the university, the Associated Press reported.

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