MSU group reviews Berkeley venture into brave new science funding world

and include administrators and those serving on national and international advisory panels.
  • Encourage broad debate early in the process of developing new research agendas.
  • Be attentive to creating new goals motivated by self-interest. "We found this created a rather strong bias for members of the department," Busch said. "If somebody waves big dollars in front of someone especially administrators short of cash they will work hard to show that this is a good idea. You have to have some controls; you can't just say because it's a lot of money it's a good idea."
  • Do a better job of educating the public on the specific nature of intellectual property, technology transfer, and the nature of institutional accountability.
  • Begin the difficult task of determining the role a public land-grant university should play in the 21st century.

    The review "External Review of the Collaborative Research Agreement between Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, Inc., and The Regents of the University of California" was conducted by Busch; plant biologist Richard Allison; sociologists Craig Harris, Alan Rudy, Toby Ten Eyck and Dawn Coppin; intellectual property manager Bradley Shaw; educational administration expert James Fairweather; and sociology doctoral students Jason Konefal and Christopher Oliver.

    The review was conducted with $225,000 from Berkeley and is released today by Berkeley.

    "We are hoping this will create a university-wide discussion on these questions and put the issues on the table," Busch said. "These are the critical questions that should be discussed everywhere. They are now being addressed by individual administrators looking to find an extra buck and I'm confident that isn't the way to do it.

    "Ideally, this will start a national debate among faculty members about what we'd like the universities to look like, especially public and land-grant universities."


    Contact: Lawrence Busch
    Michigan State University

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