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More than academic freedom at risk

More than academic freedom at risk

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More than academic freedom at risk

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  1. More than academic freedom at risk University collaborations & academic integrity James L. Turk Harry Crowe Foundation Conference Toronto, Ontario February 3, 2013

  2. University Collaborations • Preliminary observations: • Relationships with external parties for ongoing university centres, programs, institutes or research partnerships • Nothing inherently wrong with collaborations – depending what the university gives in return its partner’s cash and connections • Discussions typically framed as if the central issue were academic freedom – often diverts attention from the more serious threat

  3. (1998-2003) • The deal: Novartis gave $25-million to CNR’s Department of PMB for research, and gave access to trade secrets principally in genetics. In return, Novartis a voice in what research academics did and first dibs on potentially lucrative discoveries • Research Committee (3 from UCB, 2 from Novartis) • Review and approve research proposals • Lawrence Busch et al, External Review of the Collaboration Research Agreement between Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California, 2004 • http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/documents/Reports/documents/NovartisBerkeleyFinalReport071204.pdf

  4. Ignacio Chapela • Chair of the Executive Committee • of the College of Natural Resources. • Leading critic of Novartis deal • Rising star, untenured, impressive scholarly record. Published controversial article in Nature, reporting that traces of DNA from GM corn had contaminated genome of native Mexican maize. In midst of effort by biotech firms to end the Mexican, Brazilian and European ban on GM crops.

  5. Chapela– tenure troubles • Spring 2002 - Department votes 31-1 (3 abstentions) in favour of tenure (12 external evaluators recommended tenure) • Summer 2002 - Chair supports recommendation & forwards to Dean • Summer 2002 - Dean supports recommendation and forwards to Campus Ad Hoc Tenure Committee • October 2002 - Campus Ad Hoc Tenure Committee unanimously recommends tenure • Vice-Provost asks Committee Chair to re-evaluate with additional external evaluators

  6. Chapela – tenure troubles • Three additional letters sought – • 2 recommend tenure, 1 does not • Departmental Chair reaffirms his recommendation • Referred to Senate Budget Committee (SBC) • Dean objected to the one biologist on SBC claiming he had a conflict of interest • Chancellor says there is no conflict of interest • Dean reaffirms his recommendation of tenure • 2 more external letters requested – 1 declines, 1 recommends • June 2003 - SBC preliminary decision: denial of tenure • 2 more external letters requested. Both recommend tenure • Chair and Dean reaffirm their recommendations • Nov. 2003 SBC final decision: tenure denied • Nov. 2003 - Chancellor denies tenure

  7. Chapela – tenure scorecard • Department 31-1-3 in favour of tenure • Campus Ad Hoc Tenure Committee – Unanimous in favour • External reviewers • 17 recommend in favour • 1 opposes • University denies tenure • January 2005 – new Chancellor Robert Birgeneau agreed to appoint a review committee • May 2005 Chapela granted tenure

  8. University collaborative partnerships • WhileChapela case dramatizes academic freedom issues that may arise from university collaborations, threats to academic freedom are not the main concern

  9. Academic Integrity • Ensuring that academic decisions are made by academic staff • Hiring • Strategic direction/research priorities • Approval of research proposals [using proper peer review] • Supervision and evaluation of students • No interference with dissemination of knowledge related to collaboration • Ensure that educational curriculum and the work of students and other faculty are not distorted • Clear and powerful conflict of interest provisions • Transparency regarding the terms of the collaborative agreement • Explicit protection of academic freedom

  10. Guidelines on Academic Integrity • Guiding Principles for University Collaborations – CAUT Council 2012 • http://www.caut.ca/uploads/GuidingPrinc_UCollaborationv2.pdf • AAUP Recommended Principles & Practices to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships • http://www.aaup.org/file/industryall.pdf

  11. University Collaborations in the U.S. • Big Oil Goes to College: An Analysis of Contracts between Energy Corporations & U.S. Universities • http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/10/big_oil.html • A detailed examination of 10 university-industry collaborative agreements totalling more than $835 million in confirmed corporate funding (over 10 years) for energy research funding on campus.

  12. The Collaborations • Arizona State University & BP [$5.2-million] • UC Berkeley & BP [$500-million] • UC Davis & Chevron [$25-million] • Colorado School of Mines & Chevron [$2.5-million] • Univ of Colorado, Colorado State, Colorado School of Mines & 27 energy firms [$6-million] • Georgia Tech & Chevron [$12-million] • Iowa State & ConocoPhillips [$22.5-million] • Stanford & ExxonMobil, GE, Toyota, Schlumberger • [$225-million] • Texas A&M & Chevron [$5.2-million] • U of Texas, Austin; Rice Univ. & Baker Hughes, BP, Conoco Phillips, Haliburton, Marathon Oil, Occidental Oil & Gas, PetroleoBrasileiro, Schlumberger, Shell, Total [$30-million]

  13. The Findings • In 9 of the 10 agreements, the university partners failed to retain majority academic control over the central governing body charged with directing the university-industry alliance. 4 of the 10 alliances actually give the industry sponsors full governance control. • 8 of the 10 agreements permit the corporate sponsor or sponsors to fully control both the evaluation and selection of faculty research proposals in each new grant cycle. • Noneof the 10 agreements requires faculty research proposals to be evaluated and awarded funding based on independent expert peer review. • 8 of the 10 agreements fail to specify transparently, in advance, how faculty may apply for alliance funding, and what the specific evaluation and selection criteria will be.

  14. Findings (continued) • 9 of the 10 agreements call for no specific management of financial conflicts of interest related to the alliance and its research functions. None of these agreements, for example, specifies that committee members charged with evaluating and selecting faculty research proposals must be impartial, and may not award corporate funding to themselves. • In 7 of the 10 contracts, industry sponsors are granted broad, upfront, exclusive commercial rights to alliance research—even, in some cases, when certain “background knowledge” was developed prior to the creation of the alliance and not funded by the sponsor. • None of the 10 agreements abide by the NIH recommended maximum 60-day academic research publication delay; most far exceed it.

  15. Similar Study in Canada • CAUT Examining Canadian University Collaborations • Release: February/March 2013

  16. Corporate collaborations in Canada • Consortium for Research & Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ): Concordia, École de technologiesupérieure, ÉcolePolytechnique, Laval, McGill, & Sherbrooke; Bell, Bombardier, CAE, CMC, EMS, and Pratt & Whitney • Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery: McGill, Montreal, Laval, Sherbrooke, Toronto, McMaster, École Polytechnique + • AstraZeneca, BoehringerIngelheim, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis • Graduate Program in Political Management • Carleton& Riddell Family Charitable Foundation • UOIT – Durham College – Ontario Power Generation Partnership • Mining Law Program: Western University,CasselsBrock LLP • Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In-Situ Energy: Calgary, Shell , ConocoPhillips , NexenIncRepsol YPF, Total E&P Canada • Centre for Oil Sands Innovation: Alberta & Imperial Oil

  17. Corporate collaborations in Canada • Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Researchers (CHORUS) Calgary, Alberta and Colorado School of Mines, Nexen , Husky ConocoPhillips, Shell, Schlumberger + • Shell Geoscience Educational Partnership • Calgary & Shell • Enbridge Center for Corporate Sustainability • Calgary & Enbridge • Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) • UBC and BarrickGold, ALS Minerals, Eldorado Gold, Silver Quest, Goldcorp, Teck Resources, Kinross • Vancouver Prostate Centre • UBC& Pfizer, BC Cancer Agency

  18. University of Toronto • ROLE CLARIFICATION: The role and function of the partnerunder the terms of this agreement is that of donor and not as a participant in the administration or operation of the University,for all of which responsibility shall be and remain with the University.

  19. University of British Columbia • Research Committee (equal representation from each partner) • Approve research plans • Review and evaluate progress under each Research Plan; • Prepare additional Research Plans; • Coordinate and monitor publication of research results • Deal with any dispute amongst the Parties relating to technical issues that may arise during the course of the Research Program. • Chair. The Research Committee chair will be appointed by the corporate partner. • Decisions. Each of the Parties will have one vote on the Research Committee. All decisions of the Research Committee will be made by unanimous vote of the Parties. In the event that the Research committee is unable to reach a unanimous decision on any issue, the dispute shall be dealt with through reference to provincial courts.

  20. Carleton University – Graduate Program in Political Management • Preston Manning • Founder & leader of the Reform • Party of Canada • Founder of the Manning Centre • for Building Democracy • whose mission is “To identify, develop, and • support political entrepreneurs who can • advance our common vision of a free and • democratic Canada guided by conservative • principles.”

  21. Carleton University – Graduate Program in Political Management • Role of Program Steering Committee • Provide timely and strategic advice on program-related matters, including program direction, curriculum development, academic and administrative staffing, organization and promotion, and securing additional funding • Approve the annual budget disbursing the funds provided by the Donor to the program, ensuring that it is aligned with the original proposal and/or mutually agreed-upon changes. • Recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Office the awarding of the Scholarship and Bursary Fund • Receive regular briefings from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Affairs on the disbursements from the Scholarship and Bursary Fund.

  22. Carleton University • Membership on Program Steering Committee (2 named by University; 2 by donor & the chair chosen by the four) • 2 university representatives • Cliff Fryers - Chair of the Board of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. • Chris Froggatt– Former chief of staff to Conservative cabinet minister John Baird • Preston Manning

  23. Conclusions • Threats of improper university collaborative partnerships go well beyond issues of academic freedom (often smokescreen for the real damage) • Villain is the university administration which accepts inappropriate corporate or donor requests that compromise the university’s academic integrity • Only counterforce are the associations of academic staff that must become more aggressive defenders of the academic integrity on which our ability to do our work properly, and in the public interest, depends.

  24. NATIONAL POST April 3, 2012 York University rejects RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie’s $60-million deal • “Amid a faculty revolt and mounting public criticism, Toronto’s York University has officially rejected RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie’s contentious bid to broker a $60-million collaboration between the school and his private Waterloo-based think tank. • “There just wasn’t the level of support that we need,” said York University provost Patrick Monahan, speaking soon after the faculty council of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School voted decisively to reject Mr. Balsillie’s offer... • “Monday’s developments come less than three weeks after the National Post first reported that as a result of the CIGI deal, York University was facing a rare censure from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).”

  25. Academic Integrity • Ensuring that academic decisions are made by academic staff • Hiring • Strategic direction/research priorities • Approval of research proposals [using proper peer review] • Supervision and evaluation of students • No interference with dissemination of knowledge related to collaboration • Ensure that educational curriculum and the work of students and other faculty are not distorted • Clear and powerful conflict of interest provisions • Transparency regarding the terms of the collaborative agreement • Explicit protection of academic freedom