Two University of Minnesota professors accused of being on the payrolls of two universities simultaneously will continue to work at reduced pay and responsibilities into the upcoming academic year.

The husband-and-wife duo of health researchers Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko were considered to be star hires when they were lured to Minnesota from Georgia Tech last fall. In February, the Atlanta school began the process of firing the two for being on the payroll of both schools at the same time. Georgia Tech also turned the case over to the Georgia attorney general.

In April, Sainfort and Jacko asked for and received a two-month leave of absence from their administrative duties in order to resolve their issues with Georgia Tech. That leave, which was supposed to end this summer, will now continue until Sept. 30, according to U of M spokesman Daniel Wolter.

Sainfort and Jacko recently resigned from their positions at Georgia Tech, spokesman Matt Nagel said Tuesday. The two will continue to perform their teaching and research duties at the U of M and receive their base salaries, which are a combined $469,000 per year.

The U of M has not taken any additional action against the couple. Minnesota also has a policy against holding multiple full-time positions.

"Our investigation into the matter is still underway," Wolter said. "We continue to cooperate with the Georgia attorney general and are closely following that investigative process."

The U of M, however, is not obligated to wait for an outcome in Georgia, he said.

Sainfort was hired to lead the Division of Health Policy and Management in the U of M's Academic Health Center, while Jacko was brought in as director of the Institute on Health Informatics.

The two were expected to be in position to work full-time at Minnesota beginning in January. However, in a February e-mail to a Georgia Tech administrator, Sainfort described his workload at the Atlanta school as "completely full," and that neither he nor Jacko had signed contracts with Minnesota.

The U of M contends that the two signed contracts in October 2007.

Jeff Shelman • 612-673-7478