Sunday, March 19, 2006

More oversight at the University of California

On August 1, 2004, IPBiz had a post on an analysis by Lawrence Busch of the Novartis/UCal agreement. Questions had been raised about the agreement but academic Busch had concluded that there was no problem. The joint agreement led to no commercializations. On March 17, 2006 the San Diego Union-Tribune noted: University of California regents outlined efforts yesterday [March 16] to ramp up their oversight of the 10-campus system and address shortcomings in management and compensation practices, including overhauling the president's office. For months, UC has weathered severe attacks after newspapers reported that several lucrative deals were made with senior executives without approval of the regents, a violation of university policy.

The issue of university people sitting on boards was addressed: Current university policy allows administrators to sit on boards as long as the service doesn't interfere with university responsibilities. “While we do feel that serving on boards adds great value, that is time taken away from on-campus needs,” said Regent Joanne Kozberg, co-chair of the task force. “So it really needs to be carefully balanced.”

The subject of conflict-of-interest did not come up.

A more stringent policy could directly impact UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, [a chemist] who serves on 10 corporate and nonprofit boards – more than any other UC executive.


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