Scope of Advisory Group #3:
Impact of Expanding UC/Industry Relationships on the Academic Environment

Many UC policies seek to preserve an academic environment in which academic investigators remain free to conduct studies as they see fit and to share research results without restriction among their colleagues and students. For example, it is longstanding UC policy that freedom to publish or disseminate results is a major criterion of the appropriateness of a sponsored research project. While a sponsor may seek a short delay in publication in order to comment upon or review publications for disclosure of its proprietary data or for potentially patentable inventions, such delays are normally granted for no longer than 60 to 90 days. It is becoming increasingly common, however, for industry sponsors to ask for longer publication delays and more control over research results arising from work they have sponsored at the University, or supported through provision of proprietary company information, biological materials or other valuable company resources. Concerns have been raised about whether the growing dependence of University researchers on industry support and the related growing commercial implications of such support, including patent and other royalties might begin to generate a culture among UC scientists supporting the delay of the release of research results, diminish collegial exchange of information among faculty and students, and interfere with or confuse the traditional academic environment. In addition, the willingness of some faculty and students to accept confidential company information and materials and to agree to protect its confidentiality during and after a research project adds another layer of secrecy that seems to further erode the traditional openness of the University academic research enterprise.

Advisory Group #3 will consider UC policies and guidelines pertaining to dissemination of research results, acceptance and management of confidential company information and materials, and how these relate to the maintenance of an open academic environment.

Participants in Advisory Group #3:
Impact of Expanding UC-Industry Relationships on the Academic Environment

Joseph Cerny (Chair)
Vice Chancellor for Research
UCB

Christina Hansen (Specialist)
Director of Research Administration
UCI

Norm Abrams
Vice Chancellor
UCLA

Brian Copenhaver
Provost, College of Letters and Science
UCLA

France A. Cordova
Vice Chancellor of Research
UCSB

Karl J. Hittelman
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
UCSF

James U. Lemke
President, Aerolift, Inc.
San Diego, CA

Terry Lightfoot
Public Information Representative, News and Communication, University Relations
UCOP

Patrick E. Mantey
Chair, Computer Engineering
UCSC

Duncan Mellichamp
Chair, Academic Council
UCOP

Piermarie J. Oddone
Deputy Lab Directory
LBNL

Bruce F. Rickborn
Professor of Chemistry
UCSB

R. Michael Tanner
Executive Vice Chancellor
UCSC

Report of Advisory Group #3:
Impact of Expanding UC-Industry Relationships on the Academic Environment

Concerns/Challenges:

Opportunities:

Guiding Principles:

Recommendations for Action:

Synopsis of Discussion:

Following introductions, Advisory Group Chair Cerny prefaced the discussion with two very important quotes from a Cornell business school set of interviews with Cornell and MIT science and engineering faculty:

Group Chair Cerny also referred the group to three Guidelines from the UC Guidelines on Industry-University Relations that pertain to the Group Topic. These are: Guideline #1 - Open Academic Environment; Guideline #2 - Freedom to Publish; and Guideline #6 - Responsibility to Students.

The group went on to discuss the widely-publicized case involving Dr. Betty Dong at UC San Francisco and the British pharmaceutical company, Boots Co. [Reference to Background Reading Material] Advisory Group Specialist Hansen mentioned two recent negotiations at Irvine in which the sponsoring companies insisted that the University take additional steps to ensure non-disclosure of sponsor-provided materials and information by getting signed Non-Disclosure Agreements from all research personnel working on the sponsored project. This request puts the individuals personally at risk in any accusation of unapproved disclosure.

The group generally opposed Industry demands for non-disclosure as a means of restricting information exchange. It was noted that this is a particularly objectionable practice if related to obtaining significant amounts of extramural support. One comment receiving support was that the University should negotiate from a position of strength, i.e., be willing to say "no" to the offer of funds if the terms compromise University principles.

The group went on to identify concerns or challenges and, on the second day, opportunities. The group determined that there was insufficient time to fully discuss concerns, determine details of issues, and prioritize the items identified during the discussion, thus they are provided in unranked order.

Comments on the Report of Advisory Group #3:
Impact of Expanding UC-Industry Relationships on the Academic Environment

No comments submitted.

Return to Main

Return to Post-Retreat Reports/Comments