Monday, May 12, 2008

UW Madison's New Chancellor

It’s looking more like spring here in Madison, Wisconsin every day, but it’s taking its sweet time warming up. Lawns are bright green and the tulip trees are dropping their large violet petals. The fruit trees are ablaze. The tulips and daffodils are waning. The lilacs are just beginning to bloom. This morning it was 40 degrees on my back deck, but the sky was clear blue and the sun was beaming. The monkeys at the primate center don’t know this. They can’t see the sun, the flowers, the trees, or smell fresh air; for them it’s always the same gray stainless steel cubicle, always the same fear and pain.

The University of Wisconsin, Madison recently announced the four finalists for a new chancellor to replace John Wiley. Whoever is chosen will get nearly a half million dollars annually. I say “whoever” as a figure of speech, because looking at the four finalists, only one is UW Madison chancellor material.

Rebecca M. Blank is an economist, Biddy Martin is a German studies scholar, and Gary D. Sandefur (from UW, Madison) is a sociologist. These people are way too involved in human-related studies to meet UW, Madison standards. If Tim Mulcahy isn’t selected I’ll be completely shocked given UW’s history of awarding those who delude the public about the university’s animal experimentation, especially its monkey experiments.

Here he is (on the left) with (left to right) Joe Kemnitz (then acting director of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, now director after his handling of the Vilas monkey scandal), Rajindar Sohal (mouse vivisector), and Richard Weindruch (primate vivisector collaborating with Kemnitz on caloric restriction studies on monkeys.)

Mulcahy’s all about money, about bringing in more research dollars and figuring out ways to turn publicly-funded research into commercial ventures that will further enrich the university. And, he has a longtime intimate relationship with vivisection, primate vivisectors, and the spin needed to keep reassuring the public that the monkeys aren’t really going insane, biting themselves, and are being well treated.

Looking back, Mulcahy was on hand when the Vilas monkey scandal broke, and he was a significant link in the chain of command that allowed Ei Terasawa’s grotesque experiments to continue without oversight for many years.

“We have the responsibility of minimizing discomfort or pain animals could have and to give them as humane treatment as possible,” he said. “And we go to great lengths to do it.”

R. Timothy Mulcahy, the associate dean of UW-Madison's Graduate School, said the center provides its 1,300 primates with good housing and care that is well regulated and reviewed by internal and outside committees. Amy Zarlenga. No Other Way, Uw Researchers Say Of Animal Tests. Capital Times. September 5, 1997.
He said this even as the university admitted that it had been lying to the public for eight years about the Vilas Zoo monkeys, and even while Terasawa was keeping monkeys restrained for three days at a time while she pumped and sucked various chemicals in and out of their brains.

“We recognize the rights of them to protest,” Mulcahy said. “But we disagree with their characterization of how the primates are treated.” John Welsh. Uw-madison Plans For Animal Rights Protesters. Wisconsin State Journal. September 4, 1997.

He’s a shoo-in.

See too:

Former Primate Center Vet, Uw Settle Suit Over Firing

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