Holocaust Museum Head Resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly selected director of the United States Holocaust Museum, under fire for questionable academic conduct, has resigned just two weeks before he was to take office.

Steven R. Katz sent a letter of resignation to the museum Friday, saying the “frivolous and non-meritorious allegations which have been asserted would unduly distract” from the work of the museum.

After carrying out an investigation, the museum’s board said a week ago that it would stand by Katz, who was scheduled to succeed founding director Jeshajahu Weinberg on March 16.

In accepting Katz’ letter of resignation, museum chairman Miles Lerman said he was saddened and continues to hold Katz’ “integrity, intellectual vision and scholarship on the Holocaust in the highest regard.”

Museum spokeswoman Mary Morrison said Katz was at his home in Binghamton, N.Y., and not reachable for comment on his decision.

Katz became a tenured Cornell professor in 1984.In March 1991, the Ivy League school barred him from future study leaves because he taught at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 while on a half-year’s study leave.

“While we can study on sabbatical leave, we can’t teach on study leave, but I did not know that,” Katz said in recent telephone interview.”It was completely out of ignorance.”

In resumes and university documents dating back to 1983, Katz also described a Holocaust book he was working on as “being prepared for publication.”

But the project swelled into a multivolume work, and the first volume was not published until last year. In 1991 Katz had his salary frozen for three years for claiming his Holocaust book was near publication when it wasn’t.

Katz called his missteps technical violations, but Cornell officially censured him, finding him guilty on both counts of “academic misconduct.”

“I made two unintentional and regrettable errors,” Katz said.

In his letter of resignation Katz said he appreciated the museum’s support but “I have concluded that our mutual interests will best be served by my returning to academic life.”

Copied from the PRODIGY(R) service 03/04/95 09:42