SUMMARIES OF THE ADVISORY GROUP CHAIRS
JAMES GILL - Group 1 - Working with Industry -
What is an Appropriate Academic Enterprise?
I was in the working group that addressed the core values and missions of the University, especially as currently reflected in Regulation 4. And we contributed, I suppose, to Jud's conclusion that it was a big picture that we sought to have expressed and that core values of the University included encouraging University/industry relations. So what I would add is more nuance.
We discussed and recommended that the University should do more than just affirm that the University is seeking private sector support for our teaching and research mission. In addition to that, we should pro-actively affirm the role of the University in applying and transferring new knowledge and in pro-actively contributing to the economic development of California and the nation. And finally, we discussed and reaffirmed the acceptable conditions for that kind of activity as reflected in Regulation 4, and we deferred to people further down the line for the actual changes required in implementing those acceptable conditions.
SANDRA WEISS - Group 2 - UC -
Industry Relationships and the Education of Students
Our group began by reaffirming the guideline that exists already regarding faculty members not allowing their professional interest to, in any way, adversely affect their responsibilities as mentors and advisors. In building on that, there were a couple of principles that we felt were essential, the first being that all faculty research with industry should allow for student involvement and participation in some way; and that, secondly, it should preserve the student's right to publish and freely communicate.
Now there were a couple of action strategies associated with those principles that were recommended by the group. One had to do with programs building on existing documents and publications that we have regarding scientific integrity and scientific conduct, to educate our students very early on in their programs about the values and ethics surrounding academic freedom and conflict of interest. And the second strategy was to have every degree-granting unit develop a mechanism that would enable the review, on a periodic basis, of all students' programs of research when they were involved with industrial sponsorship. And that's something that doesn't currently exist.
Now I know that this sounds as if everything our group talked about was protecting the academic values of students, and who cares about industry. And so that you don't leave with that belief, I want to emphasize that we also strongly were encouraging, in our recommendations, the involvement of industry folks not only in the actual curricula of students -- participating on campus, increasing their presence on campus -- but also having them work as scientific mentors in conjunction with faculty advisors.
JOSEPH CERNY - Group 3 -
Impact of Expanding UC-Industry Relationships on the Academic Environment
Our subject was really on openness. To get into it, I want to give two quick quotes from a Cornell Business School set of interviews with Cornell and MIT Science and Engineering faculty that was very recent.
"The main cultural problems in technology transfer arise when research is not disseminated freely, when the sponsorship of the research severely reduces scientific discovery and when the research is sponsored by the researcher's company."
The other quote is: "Another effect of having a large number of people engaged in commercial activities is the difficulty of doing research in emerging research areas. Information in emerging areas is almost entirely in the minds of those who work in that area. When people do not share the information by conversations, conferences and publication, some researchers at both Cornell and MIT feel it can significantly retard scientific, technological and commercial advancement in those areas."
And I think it's really important we keep all that in mind. One of our concerns was about graduate students. We believe that UC should develop a policy allowing students to receive secret or proprietary information relevant to their thesis research only with the approval of the appropriate campus academic officer, which might typically be the graduate dean. This policy should also provide general guidelines for academic supervision of graduate students doing their thesis research in industry.
And as a final corollary, following up on my point yesterday, policy concerning post-doctoral fellows and the relevant intellectual property areas should be developed as part of a general UC policy on incorporating postdocs more into our policies generally.
JOHN EDMOND - Group 4 -
Working with Industry-Faculty Incentives, Cultural Differences
Thanks Jud. I'm going to focus on the area of faculty incentives. Our advisory group came up with eight recommendations altogether. With the issue of faculty incentives, you're dealing with barriers and negatives and things and questions such as, how do we engage the faculty.
In one of our thoughts, in evaluating research and scholarship of faculty, the social and economic impact on the wider world should be considered. For example, this would include such issues as patents, usage of software and a beneficial impact on government and the local economy and the like. Then we went on from that to consider other impediments. And one is something I haven't heard about here yet, is the indirect cost recovery charges. We think their application and use should be made apparent, or justified to the faculty, and tangible, meaning understandable to the funding private sector entities. We should strive for an indirect cost recovery system that the faculty will support--I tell you, they just don't support what's happening right now--and that will enhance the return of overhead to the individuals and units which generate such overhead.
And one more actually, which you haven't mentioned and I think is important and this one may rock the socks off you. The University administration should seek ways to accommodate faculty who seek to be entrepreneurs in start-up enterprises and encourage their operations in an open and accessible manner.
RANDY KATZ - Group 5 -
Copyrights: An Important Commodity in UC-Industry Relations
We first off started by hating the term "commodity" in our particular group. One gets the image of vast quantities of scholarly papers being a commodity or something like that. A key principal underlying the things that we were talking about was our commitment to widespread dissemination of knowledge as the key mission of the University, and we must balance that with economic incentives and economic desires, but the key mission being dissemination of knowledge.
We felt strongly that what we need is not Offices of Technology Transfer so much, but a coherent way of managing intellectual property within the University. The distinction between patents and copyrights is more a figment of the legal structure than really what the issue is, which is to determine what is owned, who owns it within the University, the institution, the creator, the authors. What are the rights that exist? What rights should we retain? What rights should we license? All this is somewhat independent of whether the work is something that can enjoy patent protection or copyright protection.
We had the specific recommendation of forming an ad hoc committee that could investigate these issues and make some policy recommendations with a short turn-around. The existing UC Copyright Policy took a seven year period of discussion to reach its current form and that is way too long in this digital age of rapidly evolving technologies. We thought that this committee would be under the aegis of the new Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, and it should be a broad-based committee that would involve people not only in Engineering and Science but also legal scholars, people in the Arts, Humanities and so on, because the issues are more than just patents and patentable technology. It also involves the creation of scholarly work, its electronic transmission, and so on.
Another key recommendation that came from this was to think in terms of forming a more service-oriented organization to support the faculty in learning about and supporting us in these copyright matters, both in terms of the creation of copyrights and our own use within the University of copyrighted materials. And it should be an organization which could answer questions and facilitate things which is quite different from the mission of the Office of Technology Transfer as it now exists which is primarily to find customers for the licensable materials of the University.
JAY STOWSKY - Group 6 -
Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
Our group decided that our Conflict of Interest and Commitment policies need an attitude adjustment. Instead of requiring faculty to avoid those conflicts, UC policy should explicitly recognize that these conflicts are a common fact of life, expected and often unavoidable when faculty engage in technology transfer activities and other industrial relationships. And our policies should strive to create an environment of openness and trust in which faculty will willingly disclose their industrial relationships because those relationships are valued and encouraged. Then, if need be, we can manage those conflicts and our Conflict of Interest and Commitment mechanisms can act as an insurance policy that will enable the University to take more risks in these areas.
The only other thing I would say is that there was a great emphasis on the idea that the system, UCOP, the system working together, should be very clear about what our guidelines are on conflict of interest and on what needs to be disclosed, but we should let the campuses and the laboratories decide how those things should work, how to get those disclosures rather than give you more forms to fill out.
JOHN BOWERS - Group 7 -
Strategic Assessment of the University's Patent and Licensing Program
I think we all recognize that present intellectual property guidelines and policy is relatively rigid with lots of exceptions and represents a real barrier to many industrial interactions. Our goal was to move to a much more flexible intellectual property policy that is tailored to different areas, engineering, biotech and otherwise. And we should really strive to eliminate barriers to industrial interactions by moving to a decentralized, maybe faculty-oriented, decision-making process that solves different problems on different campuses, on different areas, individually.
RICHARD ATTIYEH - Group 8 -
Facilitating UC-Industry Relationships - Organization and Structure
A lot of the points you mentioned, Jud, were raised by our group. We had two practical things that would hopefully implement some of those. One is, where successful templates or models have been worked out, whether it's on one campus or in one school, that those should be made available to other campuses and other schools for possible emulation. And the Wireless Center at San Diego that was mentioned yesterday was one that was an example that possibly could be shared with others.
The second was, there needs to be a better integration between the staff working in contracts and grants and in technology transfer with the academic enterprise. To do this, perhaps, could be the role of the Dean of the College, whether it be School of Medicine or School of Engineering or School of Biological Sciences. But that person, that office, is uniquely situated to take into account both the administrative imperatives and the academic imperatives and integrate those in a meaningful way in this process.
MARY WALSHOK - Group 9 -
UC's Role in Economic Development
We took a somewhat broader view of the opportunity and the challenges. We framed, as a basic principle in our group, that the University must adjust to them by leading. In other words, our adjustment should be as a leader in adapting to the astonishing new ways of creating, interrelating, disseminating and increasingly collaborative ways of applying knowledge. And we suggest as a group that we need to think about this, not only in terms of technology transfer and economic development, but in terms of the entire spectrum of human activities to which knowledge is relevant.
This general principle led us into a series of recommendations, which I will not read but will submit. They are about the need for new kinds of metrics, both internally and externally, to demonstrate the integration, if you will, and the value of activities going on in the larger society to which our research and teaching programs relate -- and also the need for some organizational mechanisms to support those activities. In particular, we urge that each campus undertake a series of initiatives to affirm among its faculty where it can appropriately play a role in its region and then go about consulting with affected publics and develop metrics and organizational structures that support the work at a campus level. And technology transfer, in this framing, is but one piece of a much larger teaching, research, and service agenda.
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