U of M decision on “Troubled Waters” questioned by commission, other funders

The University of Minnesota looks to be getting itself into deeper hot water. After pulling the film “Troubled Waters” weeks before its premiere for “scientific review,” the department of University Relations sent out a statement late yesterday asserting that University officials were reviewing the film to see if it “meets the specifications of the legislative appropriation to the University.” The documentary was funded in large part by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. However, Michael Banker, communications manager for LCCMR, said that, while the University has the authority for determining whether the film meets University standards, “the authority to determine whether the project meets the language of the appropriation and LCCMR-approved work program is the responsibility of LCCMR and the legislature.” The LCCMR is responsible for overseeing $349,000 in appropriations funds for, according to the appropriation language, an “educational documentary television series on the waters of Minnesota designed to promote watershed understanding and citizen action in protecting, restoring, and conserving water resources.” Continue Reading

Who pulled the plug on University of Minnesota’s “Troubled Waters”?

[UPDATED 9/16/10—See box below.] Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story has been nearly four years in the making. A team of researchers, filmmakers, and scientists have been up and down the Mississippi River, knee deep in swamps and icy waters, and elbow deep in footage and research. The film, by the U of M’s Bell Museum of Natural History, focuses on agriculture, pollution, and sustainable solutions. Now, suddenly, its premiere has been canceled, and no one can say exactly why. The documentary was scheduled to premiere at the Bell Museum on October 3. Continue Reading