To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

USF Dean Admits Role In Bike Theft

TAMPA - An associate dean at the University of South Florida has admitted to taking a student's bicycle this week in a theft that was captured on a surveillance tape and later posted on YouTube.

Abdul Rao, who oversees research grants for the College of Medicine, is on leave with pay until the campus investigation is complete, said USF spokesman Michael Hoad.

In a statement, Rao apologized and said he was trying to help a day laborer who needed transportation.

"I deeply regret this failure in judgment and the unfortunate attention it has generated," he wrote to USF officials. "... I gave a man who does odd jobs for me permission to use a bicycle that was parked at the center. I acted out of compassion for this nearly homeless man; but I failed to consider that the bicycle belonged to someone on our Alzheimer's team."

Rao, who makes $384,000 a year, took the bike on Monday night from a bike parking area on the loading dock of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute.

Un. Believable.


Deb said...

I don't even know how to respond to that story. Lapse in judgement? And somebody pays this guy over $1,000 a day to do what? Astonishing.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

It is bizarre, isn't it?

Would it have killed Rao to take the guy to WalMart and buy him an inexpensive bike? What kind of person rakes in the money like he does, and then pats himself on the back for being a compassionate person because he exhibited generosity with somebody else's property? It really didn't occur to him that that bike must belong to somebody who presumably wants it? Honestly, the guy must have a screw loose.

Deb said...

I know - this kind of thing makes me want to run into a wall, head first, over and over. I mean, has the gene pool really become this shallow. But i bet this guy feels superior to most folks by virtue of the fact that he makes that kind of money. I can tell you from people I know that big paychecks are not necessarily the result of superior intelligence. There really is such a thing as DUMB LUCK.

ricki said...

If he's making nearly $400K a year, couldn't he have afforded to BUY the dude a bike?

I wonder if it was a grad student or a minor researcher whose bike it was. If so, that makes me even madder - I knew people in grad school who, if they lost their bikes, would have NO transportation and NO easy way to get a new one.

Isn't there a saying about those who are faithful in little will be faithful in much? And this guy is administering multi-million dollar grants? I wonder if any of the money in those went as a way of "helping someone in need"

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Ricki, it was a grad student. And Rao pressured him to forget about the incident, since he got his bike back and all. The student won't forget about it, and good for him.

Yes, I'd imagine the school is pretty concerned about his grant money administering. I bet there's some intense auditing going on right now while he is on "paid leave".