News in Brief
September 16, 1997
On Thursday, attorneys for Dr. Mark Selikson, former director of the Radiation Safety Office of the University, issued a press release indicating they had filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against the University for "its unlawful conduct in retaliating against him for carrying out his statutorily imposed obligation to alert the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a former colleague at PENN, Dr. Hank Kung, had repeatedly made shipments of radioactive compounds that had not been approved for use on humans." (The two-page press release from Willig, Williams & Davidson, headed "Human Guinea Pigs for PENN Profit? Fired Nuclear Medicine 'Whistleblower' Sues," is available for examination at the Office of University Relations, 898-8721; see also the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily Pennsylvanian of September 12.
The Office of University Relations issued the following statement in response:
"This lawsuit is completely without merit; the University of Pennsylvania will vigorously defend the allegations in court," said Director of University Communications Ken Wildes. "Dr. Selikson's employment was terminated consistent with the policies and procedures at the University of Pennsylvania. The University follows all Federal regulations in its research; it never condones any practice that circumvents Federal, state or local law.
"When the facts associated with Dr. Selikson's termination are presented in the proper forum, they will demonstrate, and clearly so, that his termination had nothing whatsoever to do with Dr. Kung or any other present or former member of the faculty.
"If Dr. Selikson persists with this action, it will be our [the University of Pennsylvania's] intention to file an appropriate counterclaim to recover monetary damages from Dr. Selikson."
At presstime Almanac was advised of the deaths of two former members of the University, Dr. Stanley (Steve) Brody of health sciences, of a stroke in La Jolla, CA, at 79; and Mary Ishimoto Watanabe, a former lecturer in what is now AMES, of cancer at her home in Center City, at 76. Details will be published in a future issue.
The Trustees' Executive Committee will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 1997 in the Club Room of the Faculty Club. Among the agenda items is an adjustments to the operating budget of the Health System, reflecting a July 1 merger with Phoenixville Hospital.
The meeting is open to observers under the Commonwealth's 'Sunshine Law,' and members of the University may register their interest by calling Jason Horger in the Office of the Secretary, 8-0412.
The University Council's first fall meeting is from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 24, in McClelland Lounge, the Quad, where Penn ID is required for entry. Observers should register their intention to attend with the Office of the Secretary, Ext. 7005.
Correction: In the September 9 issue, p. 3, SEC Action 3. Disability
Policy, said that the policy was "below." It should have said
will be published next week; see the text at right. - Ed.