20 January 2011

University Board: Full confidence in Rector

Penkowa case

The University of Copenhagen Board has given its full support to Rector Ralf Hemmingsen at its meeting Wednesday. The Board and University Management are taking the accusations against Milena Penkowa very seriously, hereunder an enquire from 58 research scientists. However, the Board still has full confidence in the University’s handling of the case as well as Rector’s competence in the case.

At the meeting, the Danish law firm Kammeradvokaten (legal adviser to the Danish government) presented its evaluation of the case so far, confirming that all details of the case have been handled in accordance with the principles of objective and reasoned administration. Rector has furthermore given both a verbal and written account of the case facts and procedures. The specific case concerning suspicion of scientific dishonesty is still being handled by The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD).

“We have received a satisfying assessment of the case. At the University, the case is still being handled in accordance to the principles of objective administration with respect to the legal rights of all involved parties. If any new developments occur, which call for a reassessment of old cases or new scientific circumstances, a report will of course be filed with the DCSD,” says Chairman of the Board Nils Strandberg Pedersen.

Because of the media coverage of the case, the University – assisted by Kammeradvokaten – will send a thorough briefing of the administrative handling of the case to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which is the supervising authority of Danish universities.

The case does not involve Penkowa’s doctoral dissertation, which was approved by a unanimous assessment committee. It concerns the dissertation that she at an earlier point in time had retracted.

The Chairman underlines that during the past nine years everyone has had the right to raise cases of scientific dishonesty to The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty. And if there are co-authors to Penkowa’s research that have concerns regarding their work they should not refrain from stepping forward and contacting University Management or DCSD. This concerns researchers in both Denmark and abroad.