Angry Jon Huntsman Sr. calls for ousting of U. president

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  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    April 24, 2017 2:49 p.m.

    Wow! Are intelligent people running the U? Seems like some are missing some common sense here, to wit: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you!" I don't think I know anyone as generous as Huntsman Sr and what he has donated and created, not only to the U but the whole human race. I can understand how he would feel. I think he has more than an invested right to complain and the Governor and others ought to listen carefully.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    April 23, 2017 10:37 a.m.

    Ferd

    Stealing "funds" that were donated for a specific purpose is morally and ethically wrong.

    When any institution solicits funds for a specific purpose, donors should be able to rely on the honesty and integrity of the institution to use those funds for the purpose for which they were donated.

    As one who has "picked up a stethoscope," you, as much as anybody, should know that patients rely on your integrity to make moral and ethical decisions in their behalf.

    When an institution accepts funds intended for a specific purpose, that institution accepts those funds with the implied promise to use those funds for that purpose.

  • Ferd Sandy, UT
    April 22, 2017 10:54 p.m.

    @christy b

    Wrong on both of your thoughts. One thing I do know is Jon Huntsman has never picked up a stethoscope. I have. As someone who has worked for years in several healthcare systems I understand that they all use money from successful service lines to support other vital services that will never be profitable. The fact some are not profitable is not a reflection of competence of administrators and Mr. Huntsman should know this. His reckless statements could threaten the overall mission of the U Med Center and medical school. Is that what the people of Utah want? I think not...even if we have to lose his money. It would be sad but its up to him. Be the big person Mr Huntsman, you can do it! Give and step back. Let the top notch folks at the U continue to be number 1.

  • Christy B Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 22, 2017 7:17 p.m.

    Ferd

    "I’d suggest Mr Huntsman reconsider his position and apologize. He is better than this, I hope. However, if he keeps pressing, starts lawsuits and pulls his donations so be it. This state doesn’t need his type of tantrums and we’ll get along fine."

    Sounds like someone is either totally clueless about how much Mr. Huntsman has done for the done, or you're covering for a personal friend.

  • Ferd Sandy, UT
    April 22, 2017 6:40 p.m.

    The University of Utah health system was ranked #1 nationally in quality and accountability in 2016 receiving the prestigious Vizient top ranking for academic medical centers. They have been in the top ten for 6 straight years. This is a much more impactful accomplishment on people's lives than a #1 sports championship by a long shot.

    This wonderful achievement was done under the leadership of many but especially Dr. Lee and Pres. Pershing. Mr Huntsman’s public statements regarding Pres. Pershing and Dr. Lee are untrue/defamatory. He owes the public, them both and the University of Utah a huge apology. It is simply irresponsible to behave as he has done. It is irresponsible to believe that any medical service line, even one as good as HCI, should dominate the entire UUHC enterprise. Going down that path will damage the entire system, hurt patients and cost taxpayers in the long run. I’d suggest Mr Huntsman reconsider his position and apologize. He is better than this, I hope. However, if he keeps pressing, starts lawsuits and pulls his donations so be it. This state doesn’t need his type of tantrums and we’ll get along fine. U Med Alum, 30 yrs practice not at the U.

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    April 22, 2017 6:35 p.m.

    This "dark of night" firing should not stand. I wonder what else will come out now? It seems this story is just beginning to be told, I hope our local media will stay on the job.

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    April 22, 2017 3:23 p.m.

    @CG - Provo, UT

    "The U is more interested in spending millions on fancy athletic facilities and scoreboards, than they are in lifesaving cancer research."
    ====
    If I'm not mistaken the newest athletic building on campus is the Jon & Karen Huntsman Basket Ball Complex ( donations from you know who) and the new scoreboard is in the Huntsman Center (again donations from you know who).

  • migraine Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2017 1:51 p.m.

    The Huntsman family is a pillar of Utah philanthropy and will still be here years after any temporary ambitious medical administrators. In their foolish rush to grab the Huntsman Cancer Institute's profits, Dr. Lee and Dr. Pershing have shot the entire university system in the foot, turning away hundreds of millions in money from the Huntsman family. No temporary administrator is worth the $$ that Lee and Pershing just lost.

    Pershing and Lee are definitely not here to stay with us in Utah - just like others of their type, they'll be rushing off to their new positions at other "bigger" universities the second they get the chance. This is so far beyond basic incompetence - cowardly email firing of a national superstar is worse treatment than a minimum-wage fast-food employee ever gets.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    Arizona1 - Tucson, AZ

    Mr. Huntsman is very knowledgeable concerning the diversion of HCI cancer research funding to support the U hospital and is acting like this because previous avenues of dialog have been exhausted. This is not the first inning of the ball game.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 22, 2017 1:13 p.m.

    @gramma-b;
    "It sounds like the U is playing the unethical game that universities play all the time, playing shell games with donor money. If Huntsman can put a stop to it, good for him."

    Google U of Utah lawsuit and soon-shiong university of utah.

    I guessing Dr. Beckerle didn't like the ethics, or lack of, from Vivian Lee.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    April 22, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    ....."he should have been let go a long time ago."

    I agree Mr. Huntsman.

  • gatsby Murray, utah
    April 22, 2017 12:01 p.m.

    I have been saddened and shocked at Mr. Huntsman's behavior. Money in no excuse. Surely there is fault on both sides, as there almost always is. But lawsuits? publicly calling people out? demanding the resignation of all he disagrees with? and using his ownership of a newspaper to print his version of things?

    I see no wisdom here, no humility, no grace, no maturity

    anger can be a catalyst for change but it has tunnel vision and will never truly solve problems

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    April 22, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    Bad timing, Pershing.

    Lab coats are marching in the streets today to protect funding...and you are turning away benefactors?

  • Gale B ,
    April 22, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    We can be sure that for every employee who was willing to reveal his/her identity by demonstrating against Beckerle's firing, there are many others who did not do so for fear of retribution by Lee.

    That said, to begin with, who is responsible for Lee concentrating so much power? She is:
    --Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah
    --Dean of the University’s School of Medicine, and
    --CEO of University of Utah Health Care.

    Time for accountability, due process, and end to centralization of decision-making at the U!

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    April 22, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    When I read the headline, I thought, "Who does Huntsman think he is?" But, when I read the article, I changed my mind. It sounds like the U is playing the unethical game that universities play all the time, playing shell games with donor money. If Huntsman can put a stop to it, good for him.

  • Mike M Roy, UT
    April 22, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    @detmer - Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:59 p.m.

    "Hospitals are complex and involve many patient services. Cancer is one of them. What about heart services, the burn unit, women's care, psychiatry, pediatrics, internal medicine, the Moran eye center and all of the other surgical specialties? The list goes on and on. Many services don't make money but people still need to be served."

    Premised on your comment, if it's as you say, these other areas of the U's system are struggling under the leadership of Pres. Pershing, and Dean and CEO Dr. Lee. But yet the Huntsman Cancer Institute is not, under the leadership of Dr. Berkerle, perhaps that could indicate some level of mismanagement by the former, and not the latter, would it not? So maybe it's exactly as Mr. Huntsman suggests, that Dr.. Lee, Mr. Pershing and others involved are attempting to siphon resources from HCI to cover losses at U Health and elsewhere. And if that is what was/is happening, then it also stands to reason that the reason behind Dr.. Berkerle's termination was that she was resistant to such attempts. Perhaps it's time for a top to bottom independent audit of the entire University system. Open the books & let's see

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2017 10:22 a.m.

    Mr. Huntsman is correct. Financially stressed hospitals look for money in any manner possible to balance their books. Diverting funds from cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute to prop up mismanagement at the UofU hospital is unacceptable. The medical school's CEO is desperate and desperate people are unreliable, i.e. firing the Institute's director because she objected to the diversion of funding. Those giving to cancer research do not want their donations spent on a mismanaged hospital. President Pershing should have stepped in and prevented this abuse. Bad management should be identified and replaced, not defended.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    April 22, 2017 10:01 a.m.

    Wow. Why in their right minds would they want to cross the Huntsman's? The only answer is this must be a huge money grab, just as Mr. Huntsman says it is.
    Being a physician, I know the hospital business can be very dirty, indeed. I have a feeling this going to come down the public citizens rallied by Huntsman vs the State of Utah.

  • Mike M Roy, UT
    April 22, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    @April 21, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    "I'm disappointed with how Huntsman has handled this with the media. Sure, fight for what you feel is in the best interests of patients, employees, and control of your family's organization. But I would have expected a man as successful and generous as him to handle many of the issues privately and with more decorum and meekness."

    I'm firmly behind Jon Huntsman Sr. at this point in the process. Additionally, I'm a bit fond of these quotes, and I think they may be somewhat appropriate now; "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.", and; "Behind every argument is someone's ignorance." - Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Associate Justice 1916 -1939

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    April 22, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    As an alumnus of Loma Linda University, I can assure you that my alma mater will be more than glad to include Mr. Hunstman into their excellent cancer research center's tent.
    His input would always be considered as important and to be taken seriously.
    The U of U is not the only go-to place for fighting cancer.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    April 22, 2017 8:43 a.m.

    Hooky

    "I don't personally know anything about what happened here, or who is actually in the wrong, so I will sit back and wait for more information to come to light."

    The blame for lack of transparency rests entirely on Pershing and Lee who hid behind emails and vague explanations of needing "to move an Institution forward" instead of citing the real reasons for Beckerle's firing.

    It speaks volumes when Jon Huntsman Sr., who has invested BILLIONS in the Huntsman Cancer Institute, is calling for Beckerle to be reinstated immediately and for Pershing and Lee to be fired for their incompetent leadership.

  • CG Provo, UT
    April 22, 2017 8:28 a.m.

    The U is more interested in spending millions on fancy athletic facilities and scoreboards, than they are in lifesaving cancer research.

    Unless Pershing and Lee can articulate a legitimate reason for Beckerle's firing, Beckerle should be re-instated immediately, and Pershing and Lee should be fired for their incompetent leadership.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    April 22, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    Mr. Burton and the Governor are overseers and have responsibility here. U of U is a State sponsored school receiving state tax dollars, not a private school. Enough said.

    Any attacks on Jon Huntsman are without merit since he doesn't parade around telling all of the things he does. He is proud of the Huntsman Cancer Institute since it is his favorite and he started it. If the public knew of the other things he and his wife have done quietly, there would be no criticism. I have known Jon for a long time and he has the right to be upset and call out those responsible for what goes on at the U.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    April 22, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    Like all other Universities, it's all about the money. Academia has become a joke.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    April 22, 2017 7:32 a.m.

    Firing someone via email

    That pretty much sums it up...I think we need to dig in a little deeper and find out what is up with these 'leaders'....

  • T. Lee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2017 5:06 a.m.

    The University of Utah should by now be used to inept leadership filled with personal and ideological hidden agendas. The only really decent president since the last great one, Dr. James Chipman Fletcher was recently Dr. Young. It is a shame to see a great institution ruined by idiots at the top which has also led to a flock of faculty who are not all that much better. I'm only glad I went there from 1964 to 1968 when the leadership and faculty were on a much more solid foundation. And it did not hurt that my tuition was only $65.00 a quarter.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 11:51 p.m.

    I'm sure the comments in this thread are testing the limits of those who approve them.
    Bless Jon Huntsman Sr., but the ax he swings is hitting a lot of bystanders. I don't see the need to take out the governor. And, that is a pretty condemning accusation against H. David Burton. Those are just two of those being hit.
    I do think such things this should not be hid behind the guise of being private matters. The reason(s) for Dr. Beckerle's firing should be shared with the public. When you hold a community position, it becomes a public matter. Not only that, but I sometimes wonder if keeping such things as this private serves those who are doing the firing more than those who are fired. I think of the words in the U.S. Constitution, calling for public trials. Hiding justice behind locked doors is not justice.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 10:24 p.m.

    Team Huntsman!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:55 p.m.

    Jon Huntsman Sr. is one of the greatest men the human race ever produced. If he says something, we should listen.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    April 21, 2017 9:40 p.m.

    Obviously the reason for the firing is not public, but the way it was handled, through an email, speaks volumes. How could any administrators in this day and age think this was appropriate?

    With the few facts that are available, I would side with Jon until more facts become available, if ever.

  • Hooky Riverton, UT
    April 21, 2017 7:52 p.m.

    I don't personally know anything about what happened here, or who is actually in the wrong, so I will sit back and wait for more information to come to light. When the truth is finally clear, then and only then will I make a judgement.

    It's unbelievable how many commenters here are rushing to judgement in this matter without being involved in the situation in any way.

  • byufootballrocks Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 6:41 p.m.

    Anybody that knows anything about the history of the Huntsman family and the Cancer Center would easily conclude that what Pershing and Lee have done here is one of the biggest and most outrageous blunders and affronts to a real and valued partner that could ever be dealt - an almost unforgivable act.

    Imagine giving your whole life's work and most of your considerable assets to build a cancer center, even maintain it's funding with additional 50 and 100-million loans to cover obligations to the center to maintain it during down economic times - all told produce over $2.2 billion for the creation and maintenance of that center, and then to be dealt such an egregious blow to the center, the principal founder, chief donor, and their exemplary, generous, and service-oriented family. To commit an act that anyone with common sense would know would sever that relationship.

    Shocking indeed.

    They have also damaged the career of one of the greatest leaders in the fight to eradicate cancer, this wonderful director who was let go. They cannot claim "inside information", as they kept her on as a professor.

    This decision is just stupid! And stupid is the only word that fits.

  • windsor City, Ut
    April 21, 2017 6:08 p.m.

    Say No to BO--
    Yay, somebody else that remembers the offensive attitude and action of the U you sited in your Strike #1 comment.

    SO interesting-- the University would NOT stand up to who they should have in that situation........And yet now in this latest, they are going to stand up to and bite the hand that feeds them??

    Just unbelievable.

    And demonstrates so eloquently the insanity that infects-- sadly --too much of the U.

    Really hope Huntsman prevails-- and those at the U who need to be removed will be.

  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    April 21, 2017 5:13 p.m.

    After Two Decades of Cancer Research in Utah? United Health Foundation America’s Health rankings 2012 cancer deaths - Utah ranked 1st (lowest).
    United Health Foundation America’s health rankings Cancer Deaths by State Deaths due to ALL causes of cancer per 100,000 population. 2016. Utah #1 lowest at 149.3, U.S. average 189.9. Page 60-61. As Utah's death rate for 2015 from cancer was the lowest in the nation at 149.3 [check] per hundred thousand residents, and the national average is about 40 deaths higher at 189.9, by having faith in the health rules of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, many lives were spared. How many? Multiply 40 times 30 (3 million population), or 1200 Utahns are alive for 2016, as compared to the U.S. average.
    United Health Foundation America’s health rankings Cancer Deaths per 100,000 population Utah #1 . p.126. for 2015.
    United Health Foundation America’s health rankings Cancer deaths per 100,000 population Utah #1 LOWEST. p.128, for 2014
    United Health Foundation America’s health rankings Cancer deaths per 100,000 population Utah #1. Utah #1 LOWEST p. 116 2013.
    This is the PLACE (to do cancer research.)

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 21, 2017 5:10 p.m.

    1-Burton's former calling in the LDS church has no bearing on his ability to administrate effectively as the chairman of the board of trustees. Wasn't Huntsman an area 70? This has nothing to do with their goodness as individuals or their service in the church.
    2-Huntsman is spot on with regards to Pershing and Lee. As a graduate of the U med school, I'm disgusted at what has happened as excellent people have been forced out over and again.
    3-Who fires people, let alone someone in Dr. Beckerle's position, by an email? That's not leadership, it's cowardice.
    4-To make a difference, write the Governor, the Board of Trustees, and President Pershing-I already have.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 21, 2017 5:07 p.m.

    Is Beckerle a public employee? If she is we the taxpayers have every right to know the reason for her termination.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 21, 2017 4:57 p.m.

    When someone gives a gift, he loses ownership of that gift. He may choose to not give another gift; but, what has been giv'sn, has been given.

    Because the University has chosen to remain silent, one can only guess about the reasons for firing someone by email. However, to me, it's very confusing to know that someone in high office who was fired was retained by the University as a professor. That fact alone makes me wonder if Ms. Lee and the President are qualified to do what their jobs require.

    Wouldn't it be prudent to have an independent group investigate the whole matter? Wouldn't it be prudent to have some outsider verify that the "gift" has been used properly and that all legal procedures are being followed?

    I'm very disappointed in the way Mr. Huntsman has handled everything. Demanding resignations before the facts are known seems childish to me. That's not the way that I do business. I'm surprised that it's the way that he does business.

  • detmer Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:59 p.m.

    Hospitals are complex and involve many patient services. Cancer is one of them. What about heart services, the burn unit, women's care, psychiatry, pediatrics, internal medicine, the Moran eye center and all of the other surgical specialties? The list goes on and on. Many services don't make money but people still need to be served. The University needs to control how ALL of its dollars are distributed to make the place function well. That is what makes sense for taxpayers. Whatever you do, don't sign the petition because it will be bad for patients and the taxpayers.

  • detmer Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:54 p.m.

    Blocked?

  • detmer Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:51 p.m.

    Mr Huntsman is out of line. He has needed the University of Utah and the support of taxpayers for years to help make HCI what it is today, especially when it was struggling. In other words, it has never been just Jon Huntsman or his money. HCI was always a University of Utah conceived project from the beginning. The University and HCI have needed each other since the start. As far as contributing 1/3 or support, sure that's a big nickel if it's true, but remember 2/3 came from other sources, including you and I. In these news reports he has become the embodiment of what he accuses others of being. I'm ashamed he was ever a leader in the LDS church because a good church leader would never act like this. He has besmirched the reputations of three respected people who are terrific leaders at the University. I've met H David Burton, former presiding LDS Bishop, President Pershing, and Dr Vivian Lee. They are all outstanding people. Don't believe for a minute that this decision materialized out of thin air or that the Huntsmans were in the dark.

  • HBent Davenport, IA
    April 21, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    Most of the comments on this thread are ridiculous. The vicious public comments of Mr. Huntsman are thuggish and his temper tantrum is childish. Anyone who has ever administered anything knows that you can't talk publicly about a personnel matter, so the U can't talk about what triggered this action. But it was signed off on by the U President and by the U board of trustees, including Bishop Burton, who is one of the most respected individuals in the state. All these people know Mr. Huntsman, and knew very well he would react in this personal and bullying manner, so we can pretty sure that they had a very good reason to do what they did. Like everyone else commenting, I have no idea what would have triggered the dismissal of Ms. Beckerle, but if Mr. Huntsman has a problem with it he can make his case without this schoolyard name calling of everyone in sight who dares question him.

  • Gale B ,
    April 21, 2017 4:44 p.m.

    Beckerle's firing is only the latest in Lee's practices and style of running the place. She has caused the departure of valuable researchers.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:38 p.m.

    The University continues in PR fumble formation. Unless/until they give reasons for Beckerle's dismissal this is not going away. Even then, their failure to consult with the Huntsmans just boggles the mind. Huntsman Sr's ad is typically hard hitting, and you can certainly feel his level of frustration.

    Huntsman Sr. is a visionary entrepreneur who made his fortune calling his own shots. How he has been able to deal even up to this point with a university bureaucracy and all its accompanying politics and egos, is beyond me. This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of this relationship.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:38 p.m.

    Pershing at bat:
    Strike 1- Deep-sixing an honorary award because the recipient was a traditional family advocate. (Award finally given after she resigned from the board of World Congress of Families.)

    Strike 2 - U of U billed as a sanctuary campus.

    Strike 3 - Offend Jon Huntsman.

    You're out! Time for a new president.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:28 p.m.

    There must be some incredible information lurking under the surface when one of the Huntsmans, especially dad himself, is so upset.

    COULD SOMEONE PLEASE RESPOND:
    What can the average Utah citizen do to support Jon Huntsman, Sr's efforts to oust Pershing and Lee?

  • Logicum Richland, WA
    April 21, 2017 4:23 p.m.

    Jon Huntsman is right! As a Utah alum, I have noticed that the University President consistently sides with Krazy advice from his underlings. He seems particularly insensitive to concerns of alumni.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 21, 2017 4:16 p.m.

    @Arizona1.
    I'm not big follower of all the doings of Huntsman Sr. But, he is a highly respected businessman and philanthropist. My guess is he has been dealing with Pershing and Lee directly for years. He has apparently hit a brick wall with them as well as the Board of Trustees and even Governor Herbert.

    Granted these are assumptions. Can anyone tell me if Huntsman Sr. has a recent history of flying off the handle? If not, the U of U house-cleaning is definitely in order.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:11 p.m.

    I know Jon M. Huntsman Sr and his family personally.

    Mr. Huntsman's mother died from cancer when he was very young.
    Later, his father did as well.
    He himself has had many close calls with it.

    I remember years ago,
    He promised himself and God, that if he was ever blessed with the means,
    that he would give everything he had to fight cancer so that others would NOT have to suffer what he has.

    He has stayed TRUE to his word.

    If Jon Huntsman supports Dr. Mary Berkerle, then so do I as well.
    If Jon Huntsman Sr. wants UoU Dr. David Pershing and Vivian Lee fired -- then Do IT!

    I stand with whatever Jon M. Huntsman Sr. says or does 100%

    P.S. - Mr. Huntsman has also been an LDS Mission President, LDS Stake President and LDS General Authority.
    A man of genuine impeccable integrity.
    True and Faithful - always.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    April 21, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    Go Jon go!!

    Have had enough of U of U insanity.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    April 21, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    If this were a private institution, I would say it's none of our business. But because it's a state funded school, we need to know if there is chicanery going on.

    Pershing need to start explaining his actions. If this is indeed a power grab, he probably needs to be replaced. If Dr. Beckerle was fired for cause, that now needs to be made public.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    April 21, 2017 3:43 p.m.

    I'm disappointed to see the name calling. Yes, as Trump has proven, being brash attracts a lot of attention, but I think Huntsman, Sr. can still exercise a lot of clout and be civil about it. As a public, we know very little about the circumstances (Beckerle isn't speaking and neither is the University). Where is Huntsman getting his information? If it is from Beckerle, it might be a little one-sided.

    I'm not saying that Huntsman is wrong in questioning University leadership or that Beckerle should have been let go, but with so few facts, I do not believe we should be choosing sides at the drop of a hat. Furthermore, the scorched earth proposals of Huntsman do not allow for the dialogue that should be happening right now.

  • Realism337 Draper, UT
    April 21, 2017 3:38 p.m.

    Without knowing the key players or the business and personal relationships at hand, this situation appears to be RIFE with corruption on the side of U of U Administration. How does a University President and healthcare facility CEO dismiss an institute Director and CEO by email? And how do they do this without consulting with the institute’s chief benefactor—one who’s name is on the building?! This is ASTOUNDING!!! The arrogance, pride and corruption that appear to be in Pershing and Lee’s DNA is simply unbelievable. The PR nightmare this has created for the University and the state alone are grounds for severe punishment, if not removal of Pershing and Lee from their positions.

    I’m a University of Utah graduate, and I love my alma mater. But, the U will not see one dime in contributions from me for ANYTHING until these two administrators are removed.

  • don jackson Atlanta, GA
    April 21, 2017 3:33 p.m.

    WOW....can't believe UofU would go against the wishes of Jon Sr. does anyone in that administration know what they are doing? The administration better wake up and understand who brought them to the dance. What a black eye to the University. Of course it's all about the money regardless if it's research or college sports. The reason boosters/donors give money is to help what they believe in weather it's inside the lab or on the gridiron doesn't matter. They control the purse. In return university administrators better listen to the donors or the they will be back grading papers at the community college. Nobody remembers the paid administration only those who donate their time and money. Listen to the Huntsman family they deserve to be heard.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    I work for the University of Utah Hospital and have had dealings with Vivian Lee. She is exactly as Mr. Huntsman described. If the board backs her, it is because they are her cronies. She cares for little other than advancing her own career. She is without ethics or scruples. It is time for a new board of trusties. Please, make Vivian Lee go away!!!!
    I'm behind Jon Huntsman 100%

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    April 21, 2017 2:59 p.m.

    Although not a U of Utah graduate, I am a very strong supporter. This pointless dismissal needs to be corrected. I am totally in support of Jon Huntsman and his comments. It seems that whenever Burton is involved (think UTA) there are significant problems. Pershing has always just been a tool for the Utah government politicians. Lee would seem to be the culprit here.

    I would guess that it is a bad personality clash between the two women that caused this apparently unjustified firing, with Lee not even having the backbone to do it face-to-face. That is shameful, IMO as a retired management consultant.

  • Chris_S Draper, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:56 p.m.

    The response by both sides is incredible - the University press release has vague phrases "look to the future" and "closer collaboration" between HCI and the U, yet Jon Sr and the employees at HCI know this is about the "revenue stream". If there's a fight, its almost always about money, and right now the University administrators think that cancer revenues in the future are worth more than Huntsman donations, so they are taking over and fired Beckerle as the first move. That's why Jon and anyone else who works at HCI are so angry. If you are a cancer patient treated at the cancer hospital, you want your money to be used for cancer research and care, not for "combined resources" in University Healthcare systems.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:54 p.m.

    @alansutton;
    "One speaks like that only when one feels powerless to do anything else. Perhaps, despite what he wants us to think, he really is powerless."

    Powerless? Right. This is the guy the LDS Prophets and GA's have borrowed private jets from. A couple of well placed phones calls (I'm betting those are taking place) and he will get things done behind the scenes. These ads are just the public side of his actions.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:27 p.m.

    Wow, wow, wow! As one who worked at University of Utah Healthcare for about 18 years and had some time at Huntsman Cancer Hospital, I will say that I believe the University of Utah Healthcare system is outstanding. A family member recently spent 8 weeks at University Hospital and the care there was excellent. The University Hospital is ranked #1 in the nation for Quality in a ranking of major University medical centers. I do not know Vivian Lee or President Pershing, but I do know this: I wouldn't want a man whose name appears on the University's basketball arena to be upset with me. I just hope Jon Huntsman Sr. is being objective and sincere and that he has some grounds for the serious accusations he is making. If not, then I think the citizens of Utah should qualify his behavior as akin to a child's temper tantrum. Let's hope some facts come out to help everyone (including the Governor) get a handle on this mess. A lot of people like Jon Huntsman, including me, but lets hope for calm and objective evaluations.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 21, 2017 2:13 p.m.

    Someone with credibility with the public, but more importantly with Jon Huntsman Sr. needs to step in and take charge of this situation before the U's reputation is thoroughly trashed. This is rapidly spiraling out of control.

    Right or wrong, anyone following this story should understand that Huntsman is saying that right now there is zero accountability and a glaring lack of ethical behavior at the highest levels of the U of U.

    Without a thorough house-cleaning, I think the U of U can kiss the Huntsman Family's future contributions goodbye.

    On an earlier story, I commented that PR consultants should be brought in. But now, it appears crisis management consultants are desperately needed at the U.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:14 p.m.

    The situation is worse than I thought. I was hoping Pershing was a loose cannon here, but if Jon is throwing daggers and Burton and Herbert too, things are looking bleak.

    Then to hear Jon turn to the people of Utah for help...you now know that the wagons have been circled and the gov, the trustees and Pershing are locking arms in defense of Lee. Yikes!

    Suddenly Loma Linda and St. Jude are looking good to Huntsman. And $250 million in pending funding are nothing to sneeze at.

    This is all about politics and emotions now.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:05 p.m.

    Whenever a group of employees stages a demonstration to try to get a fired supervisor back on the job - it SHOULD be a red flag to any/all who hold sway over that persons job.

    MOST times employees couldn't care less, or are more than happy to see an administrator removed.

    The University obviously made a BIG mistake this time for which they are going to be held accountable.

    The question is: will the Board of Regents do their job and fire Pershing and Lee, or will the legislature need to just cut back funding to the legislature to make the point??

  • wecandobetter logan, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:59 p.m.

    time for more audits

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    Huntsman SHOULD petition the board of regents to fire both Lee and Pershing.

    They should notify them via email of their termination and have a couple of university cops escort them from their offices. (why NOT "one-up" the terrible termination of Berkhli?)

    In my (admittedly limited)interactions with university officials I have perceived an uncanny sense of arrogance and elitism from the whole bunch of them.

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    I'm disappointed with how Huntsman has handled this with the media. Sure, fight for what you feel is in the best interests of patients, employees, and control of your family's organization. But I would have expected a man as successful and generous as him to handle many of the issues privately and with more decorum and meekness.

  • SWWeatherGuy South Weber, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:47 p.m.

    I would not normally comment on something that I know very little about but I get the feeling JHS is spot on with his assessments of what is happening at the U. His description of the hospital and cancer institute matches the service and caring witnessed the past couple of years as my Father lost his battle with cancer.

    JHS is one of the most generous and caring people I know of and the Huntsman Center reflects those traits perfectly. The U? Their care and compassion doesn't hold a candle. I'm saddened such a fine institute is associated with such a poor university. I hope JHS finds success enacting change for the better.

  • Utah Diablo Alpine, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:22 p.m.

    Every Utahn-directly or indirectly-has benefited from the generosity of the Huntsman family. How dare the University blemish this legacy, just to benefit the career of Vivian Lee? Members of my family, and countless others, received incredible treatment at the Cancer Institute. This is a jewel for Utah and the University is using it as an ATM. We all need to stand by the Huntsmans, who have been there for us for so long.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    April 21, 2017 1:23 p.m.

    Give 'em heck, Jon.

    A family member of mine was treated for cancer at the Huntsman Center and received excellent care.

    I really like that this guy is not afraid to do the right thing.

  • Pragmatic One Mesa, AZ
    April 21, 2017 1:17 p.m.

    Wow... just wow.

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:14 p.m.

    Listened to interview, Mr Huntsman was hot! Resisted Doug's question "have you spoken to Pres Pershing" It sounds like the U is removing Huntsman favoring administration to take control of Huntsman Cancer. I have heard that out of state control has taken over at the U Hosp and IHC. A battle is underway for sure.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:10 p.m.

    This shows a different side to the Huntsman family. Publicly deriding a college Dean, a University's President and the Governor as "unfit", "unethical", "dishonest" and "vindictive" won't resolve any problems. One speaks like that only when one feels powerless to do anything else. Perhaps, despite what he wants us to think, he really is powerless.

  • nothegame Saratoga Springs, UT
    April 21, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    I'm 100% behind Jon. Well done, someone in this state with a backbone.

  • Johnny Triumph Lahaina, HI
    April 21, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    If the U hopes to keep getting Huntsman dollars they'd better make the changes, are they prepared to leave money on the table? While I normally wouldn't like a philanthropist using clout like this I applaud Mr Huntsman for standing up for correct behavior from the U leadership. I'd be interested in learning why the U leadership felt it necessary to make these changes and how they had worked with the Cancer leadership to change behaviors or practices, as would be typical by any HR group in any company. And if a change was deemed necessary it wouldn't be of much surprise to anyone involved. It's a shame the U's leadership would choose to seemingly hamstring such a vital institution like the Cancer Institute.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 21, 2017 12:55 p.m.

    Sounds like there is an awful lot of house cleaning necessary at the U.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 21, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    Good to see Jon Sr stand up and be heard. Money talks!!