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Statement from President Kaler regarding the independent review of human subject research

February 27, 2015

The University of Minnesota is a world-class research institution with a proud legacy of groundbreaking discoveries that have improved human health and our communities. Protection of human subjects and ethical behavior in that endeavor are of the highest importance.

I thank the external panel for their independence, expertise and attentiveness to my vision that our human subject research program, particularly with regard to individuals with limited decision-making capacity, is beyond reproach.

The panel has provided us with a clear road map for making our program truly exceptional. Following this path, the University of Minnesota has the opportunity to become a national model against which all other research institutions could be measured.

While their recommendations are sound it is important to put the review team's work in context. They looked at a narrow slice of our research enterprise: human subjects research related to people with diminished decision making capacity. This represents a small fraction of our clinical research enterprise. Clearly, and consistent with our charge to them, the panel's view and subsequent analysis was limited.

Nevertheless, there are numerous recommendations in the report. It is my expectation and intent to review each carefully and take the steps necessary to become exceptional. I have asked Vice President for Research Brian Herman and Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Sciences Brooks Jackson to lead implementation of the recommendations. Some items are underway, and others we will consult with faculty to prioritize.

I appreciate the panel’s work and want to thank the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, the industry’s foremost accreditation body, which managed the work.

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