U of Minnesota OK to delay fellowship, committee says

A university Senate committee decided the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis was fully within its rights to delay a reproductive health fellowship, but officials should have reached out to administration to discuss the decision, Minnesota Daily reports.

Four things to know:

1. The medical school removed a reproductive health fellowship from its website in May 2018 after public backlash over the program. The program, sponsored by the nonprofit Reproductive Health Access Project, would have placed a fellow at a community care clinic to train in reproductive healthcare, including performing abortions.

2. However, the university Senate's academic freedom and tenure committee said in November 2018 that the decision to delay the fellowship constituted a breach of academic freedom because it denied students and faculty the opportunity to "explore all avenues of scholarship, research and creative expression," the report states.

3. In a Nov. 2, 2018, meeting, the committee found the move did not violate the institution's academic freedom requirements because "people directly involved were given funding or assignments to continue research or educational directives," a committee executive said in a recent email to the Minnesota Daily. The medical school also continues to offer other opportunities for medical students to train in reproductive healthcare.

4. The committee also concluded that the public backlash over the program could have been avoided if the medical school had discussed the creation of the fellowship with university officials. The medical school is still examining the "value" of the fellowship, according to the report.

To access the full report, click here.

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