U of M president criticizes hiring of lawmaker for temp job

Published 9:20 pm Friday, September 20, 2019

ST. PAUL — University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel has criticized the hiring of a legislator for a temporary job at the school’s Institute on the Environment.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Long of Minneapolis resigned from a clean energy research position this month amid questions over whether it was created specifically for him. Long disputed that and denied any wrongdoing.

But Gabel said Friday in a letter to the Republican chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Paul Anderson of Plymouth, that Long’s hiring “put at risk a core value” of university. She said the institute must “avoid even the appearance of partisanship or a conflict of interest.” She said the institute will now hold its hiring practices to a higher standard.

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Anderson said he appreciates that the university is taking the issue seriously.