Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Protecting the Independence and Integrity of Research

accountability education corruption business research influence

Inappropriate financial donor influence at institutions of higher education appears to be on the rise, as exemplified by recent controversies at (among other schools) George Mason University, Florida State University, the University of Kansas, Case Western Reserve University, Saint Louis University, Carleton University, and Chapman University. Such influence is part of the growing concern over financial elites using philanthropic activity to turn private wealth into public influence, thereby subverting democratic principles...

Public trust in the integrity of scholarship is vital if academia is to advance the public interest. Undue financial donor influence has the potential to bias scholarship and compromise truth-seeking, thereby undermining public trust. In particular, researchers funded by donors granted inappropriate influence are less likely to be wholly independent—consequently, the integrity of their scholarship is more likely to be called into question.

Norms of academic freedom and institutional independence—sustained by the practice of faculty governance over academic matters—have historically safeguarded the integrity of scholarship and promoted public trust. By violating well-accepted academic norms, inappropriate financial donor influence erodes public trust and diminishes the value of academic research to society...  (more...)


Closing the gate after the cow has gone over the horizon?

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