Professor agrees to resign for $75K
The university is paying $75,000 to a professor and giving him one year to find a new job after his research was suspended for violating protocols and experimenting on students.
Health and exercise science professor Chad Kerksick’s tenure-track position was not renewed and was placed on a leave of absence after students accused him of unethical research practices, according to documents obtained by The Daily.
Kerksick was removed from his duties Sept. 2, according to a settlement agreement between Kerksick and the OU Board of Regents.
The regents approved the agreement during their Sept. 19 meeting.
The professor admitted to not following proper procedures by enrolling unqualified research participants — including himself — into a study about creatine nitrate, an exercise supplement. OU terminated his research in June.
Kerksick challenged the university’s decision to remove his tenure-track position and called it a “depravation of rights” and “violation of state and federal laws.” OU denied those allegations but reached a settlement agreement.
The agreement gives Kerksick a $75,000 check in his name and an academic year of unpaid leave, which will end June 30 or when Kerksick finds full-time employment.
Once the professor finds a job, he must tender a resignation letter within five days of said employment. If he does not find a job, Kerksick must still submit a resignation letter by June 1.
During his employment search, Kerksick is allowed to represent OU as an employee, but he is not allowed to work at an institution governed by the OU Board of Regents, according to the settlement.
As part of the agreement, Kerksick and the university also agreed not to pursue further legal action or make negative public statements about each other.
When The Daily reported the initial story Nov. 14, university spokesman Michael Nash said Kerksick was still under investigation by the OU Institutional Review Board and the university wanted to maintain confidentiality about the issue.
At press time, Kerksick was still listed online as an OU employee and researcher but is no longer listed on the Department of Health and Exercise Science website as a researcher.
When contacted, Kerksick said he had no comment about the investigation or subsequent events.
Nash said he could not speak specifically on the agreement because of confidentiality but said the university fully evaluated the situation.
“I can verify that any agreement the university enters into is entered into only after a full evaluation of all facts and surrounding circumstances and following a thorough negotiation process that takes into account the costs and benefits of each term,” Nash said in an email.