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The Dirty Little Secret Finally Acknowledged - Research Funding From Outside Federal Grants is Subsidized

Senate Research Committee

Monday, March 22, 2010

2:15 - 4:00

Read it and weep, Morrill Hall Gang:

Dr. Mulcahy recalled that about 18 months ago the President appointed a working group to address financing the future of the University; the group issued a report that was subject to considerable discussion.

One question the report asked is whether there are revenue streams that might be enhanced. One suggestion was to increase the volume of sponsored research and thereby collect additional indirect-cost funds.

Many***, however, recognized the fallacy in that suggestion: The University does not recover the full cost of research, so increasing the volume of sponsored research would mean greater cost and that the University would have to increase its subsidization of research.

Many do not understand F&A costs, so he had a session with the President's executive team to introduce the idea that the University should introduce changes in its policies and practices.

***I have been harping on this point literally for years...

See for example:

If You Build It, Grants Will Come? Or, Could Someone at BigU Please Be Honest and Responsible About Expansion of Biomedical Research?

Trees Do Not Grow to The Sky or, Why the State Legislature Should Not Write a Blank Check to BigU for Biomedical Research Buildings

Who's Dismantling the Ivory Tower?

Honesty on the matter is going to be required from the Morrill Hall Gang if we are ever to dig ourselves out of the current mess.

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