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Universities in the Age of Corporate Science

Universities in the Age of Corporate Science: The UC Berkeley-Novartis Controversy

Alan P. Rudy
Dawn Coppin
Jason Konefal
Bradley T. Shaw
Toby Ten Eyck
Craig Harris
Lawrence Busch
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Universities in the Age of Corporate Science
    Book Description:

    As a result of widespread financial pressures, U.S. research universities increasingly stress the pursuit of funding beyond that available from government grants and contracts. Concomitantly, recent legal changes have encouraged universities to develop closer ties to the private business sector.This book represents the most thorough review ever undertaken of a major collaboration between industry and academe. A professional evaluation team obtained authorization for unprecedented access to those associated with the landmark $25 million contract entered into by the Plant and Microbial Biology Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, a subsidiary of Novartis, an international pharmaceutical and agribusiness conglomerate.This model study presents the inside story of the partnership itself, places it in the context of contemporary university-industry relationships, and provides a larger theoretical framework for evaluating such collaborations in the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-535-6
    Subjects: Education, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. ONE Theoretical Framework
    (pp. 1-17)

    MOST PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION appeal to philosophy in general, and to ethics in particular, to argue for (or against) a particular perspective. Of particular importance is the argument that a given ethical perspective is valid across all institutions, places, and times. This unitary view is commonly found in a variety of philosophies, including utilitarian, Aristotelian, and Kantian perspectives.

    However, as we interviewed faculty, staff, administrators, and various stakeholders involved in the dispute over the University of California, Berkeley–Novartis agreement, and in our review of a multitude of documents generated by it,we encountered many apologists for the agreement. Not surprisingly,we...

  7. TWO The Changing World of Universities
    (pp. 18-34)

    UNIVERSITIES ARE NOT isolated institutions. Their existence and success depends on support from various political, economic, and nonprofit institutions. Thus, to understand the university, it is necessary to examine its role in society and its relations with other leading institutions. While UCB-N and the ensuing controversy are deeply embedded in the highly specific conditions of the history of UCB, the Bay Area, and the state of California, they also reflect a wider set of transformations in the national and international character of universities, and the associated debates over those changes. In this chapter we situate UCB-N in the context of...

  8. THREE Land Grant Universities, Agricultural Science, and UC Berkeley
    (pp. 35-45)

    IN ADDITION TO THE BROAD issues discussed in the previous chapter, the histories of agricultural sciences generally and of UCB specifically have affected the way the UCB-N agreement was perceived and the effects that it has had. Most important are tensions between progressive and populist research orientations that have characterized the agricultural sciences since the beginning of the land grant university (LGU) system. This divide continues today, and is most clearly evident in the split between research on biotechnology and sustainable agriculture.

    Populism and progressivism, both born of nineteenth-century social and economic struggles, are deeply embedded in American politics and...

  9. FOUR A Chronology of Events
    (pp. 46-70)

    EVERYTHING IS SAID to have a beginning, although reasonable people may disagree over where that beginning is. In this chapter, therefore, we present a chronology of the events relevant to the creation and implementation of the agreement between NADI and the Plant and Microbial Biology Department (PMB). For our story we think it necessary to step back a few years from the initiation of the agreement between NADI and PMB, to 1993, five years before Novartis entered this scene.¹

    In 1993 UCB Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien convened a Biotechnology Planning Board composed of ten distinguished faculty members in biological science. The...

  10. FIVE Points of Contention
    (pp. 71-82)

    WHILE 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...

  11. SIX Overview and Analysis of the Agreement
    (pp. 83-93)

    AS DETAILED BY ZUCKER, Darby, and Armstrong (2002), commercially viable innovations may be expedited when academic and industrial scientists work closely together. Legal agreements between universities and commercial entities often define these relationships and associated financial arrangements. Numerous tutorials instruct practitioners in how to bridge the gap between university and business practices when drafting agreements of this type (American Council on Education and the National Alliance of Business 2001; Berneman 1995). UCB-N is one notable illustration of the complexities and challenges that can emerge in the process. With its ten appendices, the agreement runs sixty pages. It defines the parties’...

  12. SEVEN The Agreement and the Public Stage
    (pp. 94-108)

    THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN the University of California, Berkeley and Novartis became a public concern on October 9, 1998, when theSan Francisco Chroniclereported that these two organizations were in the final stages of their negotiations. The article mentioned that similar agreements between universities and private corporations had become commonplace, but it raised concerns that the scope of this particular arrangement would give industry an unusual degree of control over the research agenda on the Berkeley campus. On October 14 a letter to the editor of the newspaper echoing these concerns was the first sally in what very quickly became...

  13. EIGHT The Scientific Enterprise
    (pp. 109-136)

    MUCH OF THE CONTROVERSY generated by UCB-N stemmed from the potential consequences such an agreement might have for the various constituents of PMB. There were questions regarding the effect of UCB-N on the research directions of faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students: Would the large amount of noncompetitive money from UCB-N lead faculty to pursue and secure fewer competitive grants? What might the effects be for teaching, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels? Many of the questions about the agreement that were posed by DIVCO and other concerned parties to Rausser, PMB, and the administration could not be answered...

  14. NINE Intellectual Property Rights
    (pp. 137-149)

    ALTHOUGH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY rights (IPR) are mentioned specifically in the U.S. Constitution, there was widespread agreement in the late nineteenth century that they were inapplicable to plants and animals. Bacteria and other microorganisms were considered patentable, but there was a general agreement that higher plants and their component parts should not be subject to utility patents. This consensus was based on the four requirements for a utility patent: novelty, non-obviousness, utility, and specification.¹

    In legal terms, “novelty” is usually taken to mean a novel composition of matter. Thus discoveries are normally not patentable as they exist already and are merely...

  15. TEN The Impact and Significance of UCB-N on UCB and CNR
    (pp. 150-162)

    IN ITS FIRST STATEMENT on academic freedom, the fledgling American Association of University Professors (1990 [1915], 393) noted that “Academic freedom … comprises three elements: freedom of inquiry and research; freedom of teaching within the university or college; and freedom of extra-mural utterance and action.” In our inquiry we found no direct evidence of concerns about the first or second of these, but some concerns about the third.

    UCB’s agreement with Novartis produced few or no effects on the freedom of faculty to engage in research and teaching. Moreover, there seem to have been few direct negative repercussions for faculty...

  16. ELEVEN Rethinking the Role of Public and Land Grant Universities
    (pp. 163-178)

    DESPITE A FAIRLY BUMPY ride through the twentieth century—encompassing two world wars, a global depression, a number of recessions, and the cold war—institutions of public higher education retained their largely progressive character before starting to gradually implode in the late 1960s. Starting with the emergence of the New Left, in connection with and following from the civil rights movement, the academy served as a hotbed for every sort of liberal reform and radical program. At the same time, though less visibly, universities remained intimately engaged with conservative intellectual and cold war economic and military institutions.¹ In this context,...

  17. TWELVE Constructing the Future: Re-visioning Universities
    (pp. 179-208)

    IN THE INTRODUCTION we noted that core principles are at the center of an ethical framework. In this concluding chapter we draw conclusions and offer recommendations with an eye to ethical discernment. UCB-N acted as lightning rod for numerous inarticulate concerns about the role and purpose of the university. Both supporters and detractors claimed to take the high road with respect to what we argue are the three core principles of the university: creativity, autonomy, and diversity. In some sense, everyone is right. But what has been obscured by the day-to-day business of the university—the teaching, research, and service...

  18. NOTES
    (pp. 209-214)
    (pp. 215-232)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 233-236)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-237)