Santa Monica, CA — Robert C. Dynes’ legacy as University of California President cannot be allowed to be the commercialization of the nation’s finest public university system, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said today.
Dynes announced plans to step down as president of the 10-campus system next June or when a successor is named. In the interim, said UC Regents Chairman Richard Blum, Dynes will concentrate on increasing the university’s research partnerships with industry.
“Under the Dynes watch, we’ve already seen UC Berkeley transformed into ‘UC-BP‘ with the planned $500 million research deal with oil giant BP,” said John M. Simpson, FTCR consumer advocate. “It’s the biggest extension campus of Big Oil U in the nation.”
FTCR said Dynes’ time would be better used working with the State Legislature to win funding needed to maintain the UC system’s high standards as a public institution free of undue corporate influence.
“Apparently Dynes wants his legacy to be that he sold out academic freedom to the highest corporate bidder,” said Simpson. “We’ve already got Big Oil U. What’s next? Tobacco U and UC Pharma? Does his vision include Biotech College?”
FTCR said the public counts on universities to provide unbiased research and education. Undue corporate funding undercuts this independence allowing corporations to set research agendas and control research discoveries.
Dynes said that when he steps down he plans to return to the UC faculty and his physics lab. FTCR said the Regents must ensure that the Dynes laboratory does not benefit inappropriately from any corporate funding.
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is California’s leading non-profit and non-partisan consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org and www.OilWatchdog.org.