GAINESVILLE, Fla., July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- All charges stemming from consulting work against Dr. Dov Borovsky, a tenured former University of Florida Research Foundation professor who garnered significant media attention for his research and brought in millions of dollars of grant funding to the University over his 36-year career were dropped. The charges in question have since been expunged from Dr. Borovsky's record. Borovsky, a world leader in his field, gained recognition for his discovery and development of an environmentally-friendly mosquito control technology known as TMOF. The University of Florida has been awarded 16 patents for his technology, and UF continues to receive licensing fees for these patents.
The University alleged that Dr. Borovsky worked as an outside consultant on university time without completing the proper University of Florida approval forms, and that he failed to properly document to the University three airfare reimbursements from a private company for whom he was consulting. It was determined that only two of the airfares had been erroneously reimbursed to Dr. Borovsky—the third allegation turned out to be completely inaccurate. Dr. Borovsky vehemently denied all the allegations against him, and after further investigation the State Attorney dropped all charges against him.
Once Dr. Borovsky was made aware of the administrative oversight and allegations against him, he promptly provided the appropriate documents to the University, demonstrating his willingness to comply with University policy and making clear the fact that any compensation received from the private company rightfully belonged to him personally. The University of Florida was entitled to no portion of these funds. Dr. Borovsky also immediately reimbursed the University for the appropriate amount relating to the airfare charges resulting from the oversight.
The mishap that precipitated Dr. Borovsky's charges is indicative of problems with the University failing to effectively outline and communicate policies regarding outside private sector work.
According to a Gainesville Sun article published on June 15, 2011, not long after Borovsky's arrest, the University of Florida Office of Audit and Compliance Review completed an audit, revealing that more than 36 University of Florida employees had mistakenly failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest as required by University Policy.
"The recent audit findings indicate that Dov Borovsky is not unique in this situation," said attorney Stephen K. Miller. "Institutions of higher education must address how the private sector interacts with the academic world to ensure those generating the ideas and innovation have adequate administrative support. While these professors may be experts in their fields, most lack a full understanding of the maze of administrative approval forms required by the University for outside employment. In addition, most professors have no administrative support to assist with the drafting and filing of these forms, nor any other compliance issues for that matter."
The charges against Borovsky were ultimately dropped in light of the audit's findings and the State Attorney's Office investigation. Borovsky retired from the University due to his concerns about how he was treated during this investigation. He is now employed by the USDA.
Dr. Borovsky's case, followed by UF's audit findings, indicates that professors who are interacting within the private sector require administrative support to navigate compliance processes and requirements. Unlike other universities, the University of Florida does not provide its employees with support personnel to assist with this private sector/academic interaction, making it all the more likely that cases like Dr. Borovsky's could occur again.
SOURCE Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A.