Himle resigns

MPR reporter Tim Post reports that Karen Himle, University of Minnesota Vice President for University Relations, has resigned today at a regular Board of Regents meeting.

Bruininks said Himle’s resignation was because of the impending arrival of Eric Kaler, who will be the university’s new president next year. He said she had always intended to return to the private sector.

Update with background:

Himle was at the center of the controversy over the Troubled Waters documentary, an environmental film that asserted that agricultural methods were polluting the Mississippi River and causing a “dead zone” where nothing lived in the Gulf of Mexico.

Himle pulled the film earlier this fall after questioning its balance and scientific rigor. But after it was revealed that Himle had ties to agricultural business interests through her husband, critics claimed she suffered from a conflict of interest, and that her move constituted censorship that risked the university’s academic freedom.

The university subsequently released 2,500 internal e-mails and other documents, some of which showed Himle’s opposition to the film.

More background is available here.

Note: For clarity, a list of tweets reporting details of Himle’s resignation have been crossed out.

The Land Stewardship Project, a non-profit group that advised the filmmakers, had called for Himle to step down.

Reports say Bruininks said Himle’s resignation was due to the impending arrival of Eric Kaler, who will be the university’s new president next year. He said she had always intended to return to the private sector.

Update: Here’s a quick summary of some tweets by MPR’s Nate Minor:

The University of Minnesota’s Vice President of University Relations Karen Himle is resigning her position to return to work in the private sector.

University President Robert Bruininks made the announcement at the Board of Regent’s meeting in Minneapolis Friday.

In September, Himle told Twin Cities Public Television not to air a university-produced film about pollution in the Mississippi River, “Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story.”

The Land Stewardship Project, a non-profit group that advised the filmmakers, had called for Himle to step down.

Bruininks said Himle’s resignation was due to the impending arrival of Eric Kaler, who will be the university’s new president next year. He said she had always intended to return to the private sector.

  • Eb Ebberson

    The story as eplained on this page is so vague as to be almost useless. Posting a few tweets is a poor substitute for actual newswriting. I am a native Minnesotan living out of state, so this is the first I have heard about this story. Vague tweets are insufficient to get me in the loop.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, Mr. Ebberson. Just trying to get the newest stuff out and then come back with some background. The next story might help, and I’ll be putting in some links to give you some reference. I might also suggest the post, “A Walk Through the Troubled Waters Controversy.” I’ll post a link to that in just a sec to help you out.