Karen Himle has resigned as a vice president at the University of Minnesota but says it’s not because of a controversial decision she made in the fall over an environmental documentary film.
Himle said she’s stepping down as vice president for university relations after four years to return to the private sector. She said she had planned to work at the U only through the term of University President Robert Bruininks, who is leaving next year. Eric Kaler has been appointed the new president.
The film flap came in September when Himle canceled the television broadcast and premiere of a univerity-produced documentary, “Troubled Waters,” which looked at connections between farming and pollution in the Mississippi River.
The decision was loudly criticized by some environmental groups, including the The Land Stewardship Project, which demanded her resignation because Himle’s husband, John Himle, is CEO of the Himle Horner public relations firm, which represents a trade association that lobbies for agribusiness.
University officials eventually reversed the decision, the film was aired and she apologized.