Apr 292008
 
Authors: Erik Myers

University officials and faculty are crying foul over recent media reports accusing the public relations department of preparing to downplay the weather forecasts of former atmospheric science professor William Gray.

The primary article, published in the Houston Chronicle Monday said in 2007, university officials told Gray that it had taken too much time to handle media inquiries regarding his controversial stance on global warming, and had affected their ability to promote the efforts of other scientists.

As a result, the article reported that they had made the decision to stop promoting forecasts from him and his colleague, research scholar Phil Klotzbach.

Emily Wilmsen, a CSU spokesperson, said the article had inaccurately portrayed the university’s relationship with Gray, who currently serves as a senior research scholar with the atmospheric science department.

“We support Dr. Gray as much as we have, and that won’t change as long as he’s here.” Wilmsen said.

In his blog, Chronicle reporter Eric Berger wrote he had obtained a memo from Gray, which had been sent in 2007 to several CSU officials, including Sandra Woods, the Dean of the Engineering School.

The memo, which is available from Berger’s blog “SciGuy”, detailed Gray’s frustration with the university when he had been told of CSU’s decision to no longer publish the forecasts. Berger declined to comment on the university’s reaction.

In a statement released Tuesday, Woods said Gray had been misinformed of the situation when he wrote the memo, but a meeting between the two quelled the issue.

“We corrected that misinformation. We are all on the same page and CSU continues to offer full support of his forecast, his funding has not been pulled,” Woods said in the statement. “Actually, he officially retired in 2004, but we continue to support the forecast.”

Gray confirmed that he had been mistaken when writing the memo, and that the situation had been corrected swiftly.

“We did have a few disagreements last year, but they were all worked out to my satisfaction,” Gray said. “(Berger) certainly shouldn’t have tried to run that story before talking to us.”

News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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