Reported yesterday in this ethics blog – Abdul S. Rao had resigned from his position from the University of South Florida. Originally reported in the Chronical 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 Rao, someone who’s work has contributed to the success of the University, has rescinded his resignation.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
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.
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…