11-06-07 by simpson
The contract that would create a $500 million research deal between UC Berkeley and oil giant BP is “under review” in the office of University of California President Robert Dynes. Not clear is whether it will be vetted by the UC Regents as we and two other groups have demanded.
Last Wednesday I wrote UC Regents Chairman Richard C. Blum and UC President Robert Dynes telling them it would be “unacceptable” if the contract creating the controversial Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) is only approved by UC President Dynes.
"The people of California are shareholders of the University of California and they, and their representatives, deserve an opportunity to comment on a momentous change in the system — not simply be presented with a fait d’accomplis,” the letter said.
Friday we joined Greenpeace in signing a letter of protest organized by Washington-based consumer advocacy group, Essential Action. It said:
“The text of the EBI agreement should be released for a meaningful period of public comment and analysis — before the University of California commits itself to the agreement. It is also clear that a matter of such importance should be scrutinized in advance at the highest levels of the university governance system, in this case the University of California Regents.”
Essential Action also released an analysis of the EBI proposal warning that “If EBI, as envisioned by the partner universities’ proposal, is approved, the ideal of academic communities interested in knowledge for knowledge’s sake is likely to suffer beyond the boundaries of the Universities of California and Illinois.” The University of Illinois and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are partners in the EBI project.
A call to a spokesperson at UC Berkeley today determined that the EBI contract is “under review in the office of the president.” The spokesperson could not say if it would go to the Regents.
There sure is a lot of “reviewing” happening in the president’s office.