UB Professors, Professional Staff Call for Transparency
by Buck Quigley - posted 6:02 pm, August 23, 2012
Today, the UB Reporter website has published this open letter addressed to UB administration, signed by 83 professors and professional staff at the State University of New York at Buffalo, urging the school to come clean about its Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI). The institute has rightfully received bad press in various media at the local, national, and international level—which reflects poorly on the university as a whole.
From the letter:
“…the troubling evidence about the founding of the institute, the solicitation of funding from an industry that has a huge financial stake in the outcome of any research, UB’s rush to publicize the institute’s first report and its misstatement that it was peer-reviewed—all this raises serious concerns not about individual academic freedom, but about the institutional independence of the university itself.”
It sums things up this way:
The controversy over the institute has tarnished UB’s hard-won reputation and credibility as a major research university. To prevent further damage and regain public trust, we must do the right thing and honor the highest value of academic life—open inquiry. We call on the UB administration, the UB Foundation, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Geology to make public all the documents they generated or received that bear upon the founding, funding, staffing, operation and governance of the institute. Only complete transparency can dispel the shadow now cast over UB—an institution for which we all have an abiding regard.
Who wants to bet the administration ignores this earnest appeal—instead remaining tight-lipped, hoping this all just goes away?