Faculty at University of California Oppose Ban on Tobacco Funds
The University of California's faculty leadership on Wednesday voted to oppose a proposed ban on research funding from tobacco companies, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Members of the Assembly of the faculty Academic Senate cited academic freedom as their primary concern in the 43-4 vote.
UC administrators also opposed the ban, saying that barring research funding from the tobacco industry could lead to subsequent prohibitions on funding from pharmaceutical firms and other controversial industries.
The measure now goes to the board of regents for consideration (Schevitz, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10).
UC Regent Richard Blum said that the board of regents was scheduled to vote on the proposal next week but that it likely would be postponed (Su, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/10). Blum and John Moores are the regents who proposed the ban (Krupnick, Contra Costa Times, 5/9).
Regents are expected to accept the faculty's recommendation and reject the ban.
UC researchers since 1995 have received about 108 awards from tobacco companies amounting to $37 million, UC spokesperson Jennifer Ward said. She added that by comparison, UC in fiscal year 2006 received $4 billion in contracts and grant revenue (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10).