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F I V E Points of Contention W HILE THE IMPLEMENTATION of the agreement was relatively uncontested and while many of the critics’ worst fears were unrealized , the fact that the agreement was widely challenged is important on a number of levels. The controversy over the agreement is informative in that it sheds light on some of the larger issues and contested transformations taking place in higher education in general and at UCB in particular . Furthermore, many of the controversies surrounding UCB-N are still having their effects, both locally and nationally. The people we interviewed gave a number of reasons why the agreement was so controversial, which can be divided into four broad groups: (1) issues relating to the process by which the agreement was created and signed, (2) the substantive content of the agreement, (3) local conditions at UCB and in the Bay Area, and (4) broader issues that reflect the changing character of the university . Each group is briefly examined below. PROCESS The process by which UCB-N was developed and made public raised a very contentious issue. Indeed, much of the initial opposition to UCB-N was rooted in concerns regarding the process by which the agreement was formulated. For example, SRR, the graduate student organization that formed in response to UCB-N and remained active in subsequent debates concerning the future of F I V E 72 CNR, was first organized in response to the process by which the agreement was negotiated and presented. Four aspects of that process were of concern to the people we interviewed. First, a number of faculty, students, and interested parties outside the university objected to the secrecy in which the agreement was formulated. Second, there was concern that the normal channels of governance and oversight for agreements with external parties were bypassed. Third, a number of participants argued that the way the agreement was presented and handled publicly was responsible for much of the controversy. Fourth, a number of faculty and graduate students raised questions concerning Rausser’s consulting activities and his role in securing the agreement with Novartis. Both proponents and opponents of the agreement generally agree that the process by which the agreement was formulated was less than transparent . While PMB faculty were kept abreast of negotiations, and while their input was solicited, other faculty in CNR and the university were not informed that negotiations were under way until the start of the semester in which the agreement was signed. Moreover, the contents of the agreement were not made public until after the official signing. A number of PMB faculty and UCB administrators argued that such secrecy was necessary in order to negotiate an agreement of this sort. One PMB faculty member remarked that the secretive character of negotiations was a “necessary evil,” because the details had to be kept private in order to protect Novartis’s business interests. Other faculty and interested parties felt that they had a right to know what was in the contract and were entitled to a say in its outcome, because UCB is a public institution.1 It is also likely that the secrecy would not have been an issue had the contract not encompassed (almost) a whole department. Those concerned with the lack of transparency were not interested in the details of (at least the vast majority of) industrial grants with individual faculty members but were concerned with an agreement of this sort of innovative and extensive scope. The lack of transparency became especially contentious when the agreement was officially extended to CNR. Some faculty in the college outside PMB argued that they were included in the agreement because of the distribution of overhead to CNR as a whole but received no direct benefits as a result. Consequently, they argued, while they were burdened by the negative stigma attached to the agreement, they received no corresponding benefits to balance the situation. Regardless of whether they felt that secrecy was necessary, most interviewees agreed that the lack of transparency made the agreement more contentious. In addition, critics argued that the agreement was negotiated in such a way that it bypassed the normal channels for agreements with external parties, P O I N T S O F C O N T E N T I O N 73 particularly by going through OTL rather than SPO. Whether or not they thought this departure from normal protocol was justified, many faculty members believed that the agreement...


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MARC Record
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