Update! Abdul S. Rao Requests Resignation Be Rescinded – Choices and Consequences

Reported yesterday in this ethics blog – Abdul S. Rao had resigned from his position from the University of South Florida.  Originally reported in the university-of-south-floidaChronical of Higher Education, I raised several questions and noted that every choice has a consequence.

As of today it appears that Dr. Rao, someone who’s work has contributed to the success of the University, has rescinded his resignation.  A copy publicaly available on the internet is printed below:

From: Abdul Rao
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:50:38 -0500
To: “Klasko, Stephen”
Cc: “Ekarius, John”
Subject: RESCIND RESIGNATION

Dear Steve:

After much contemplation and discussion with my family and legal counsel, I would like to rescind my resignation from my administrative positions at USF Health. I am convinced that the conditions under which the resignations were obtained were extremely unfavourable not giving me ample time to think through this very important decision. I was given no option to consult a lawyer or a member of my family and was informed that I either resign or else.

I also believe that I have up to three days to withdraw my decision and I am exercising that option and withdrawing my resignation.

Lastly I am convinced that the outcome is not compatible with the level of the infraction and has placed my professional and personal life in serious conundrum. I suggest that the University complete its investigation and a judgement is made which is compatible with the committed infraction. I am certain that it would not amount to a call for resignation with a severance of six weeks and a professional life totally destroyed. I plan to defend my innocence and make every effort to preserve my professional life and my integrity.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Abdul S. Rao

Every choice does have a consequence.  As such the consequences do not have to be nearly as dramatic as resignation – especially in light of the fact that Dr. Rao has made substantial contributions to the furtherance of his profession and that of the University.

As an ethics speaker, I have several questions:

  • Who had the rights to the tape that was posted on YouTube?
  • Were they legally and ethically allowed to use property that was not theirs to display publically?
  • What motivated Dr. Rao to assist in taking something that he had no ownership in?
  • Should the University have been so quick to take Dr. Rao’s resignation?
  • Pages on Dr. Rao have been removed from the University’s web site – did they want Dr. Rao gone?
  • When there is an ethics lapse in judgment, what should the appropriate outcome or consequence be?

Your comments are welcome…

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4 Responses to Update! Abdul S. Rao Requests Resignation Be Rescinded – Choices and Consequences

  1. F.C. Burgner says:

    The answer to the first three questions is another question – would you be asking these quesions if he had been filmed stealing a students car? #4- Yes. #5- Apparently they want to distance themselves from him. #6- Laps in judgement or character revealed? Frankly, I’m surprised that these questions are even being asked by one who professes to be an expert on ethics. Dr. Rao’s letter clearly shows that he feels no guilt or shame. He’s nothing less than a common thief who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and should have been fired on the spot.

    • F. C. Burgner

      Ethics aren’t black and white as some people think. Ethics, by nature, is making the best decision at the time based on all the facts and circumstances. If for example a camera caught someone breaking into a building would that footage show someone doing something unethical? Perhaps. But if the building were on fire (not detected from the external video) and breaking in would have saved lives would you judge the outcome differently? I can’t be the judge and jury…that’s up to others to decide. I just report on what I discover and ask questions to uncover the rest.

      Thank you for your comments…

  2. AnnaZed says:

    I don’t understand why the posters on this blog aren’t looking more closely at the crime itself. I came to this story from a bike blog, and you would be surprised how many cyclists are following this story.

    I think that a closer look needs to be taken to Dr. Rao’s relationship with this felon, drug dealer person for whom he exhibited this peculiar and obviously criminal generousity.

    This person had no business on the campus at all at any time. Why did Dr. Rao bring him there at all?

    It was reported that the “handy man” with the spectacular rap sheet lives in Tampa but for some reason travels to that area to do “odd jobs” for Dr. Rao. How credible is that?

    This crime took place at night; why were these two men there together at all?

  3. […] Update! Abdul S. Rao Requests Resignation Be Rescinded – ChoicesAs of today it appears that Dr. Rao, someone who’s work has contributed to the success of the University, has rescinded his resignation.  A copy publicaly available on the internet is printed below: […]

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