Oldham regrets Fitzgerald research endorsement

President Oldham

President Phil Oldham apologized Monday for his role in the controversial Fitzgerald Glider Kits research and said he regrets signing an endorsement letter sent to Congresswoman Diane Black.

“I want to personally apologize to the entire campus community for any part I played in the incident. The letter that left campus … that letter never should have been sent and it certainly should have never been signed by the president,” Oldham said.

The president spoke Monday afternoon before a capacity crowd in the Tech Pride Room in the RUC. The Faculty Senate sponsored the hour-long meeting in which participants questioned Oldham about the University’s internal investigation.

A nine-month investigation in which Oldham recused himself concluded on Oct. 24. The investigation determined the research was well-conducted, however, some conclusions were inaccurate. 

Oldham said many steps have been taken to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future, however, he highlighted three specific areas of improvement: release results of sponsored research only to sponsor, increase checks on Institutional Conflict of Interest Policy and better understand when a principal investigator should be replaced.

“I appreciate everybody’s concerns and patience as we heal and move forward. I have tremendous faith in the faculty on this campus,” Oldham said.