WIKIMEDIA, HIMAJINTalks between the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of Southern California (USC) have broken down after TSRI faculty expressed displeasure with the pending deal and a lack of confidence in their president. A joint statement from Dick Gephardt, chair of the TSRI board of trustees, and Michael Marletta, president and CEO TSRI announced the move on Wednesday (July 9). “The current nonbinding letter of intent on discussions about a broad partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) has been terminated by mutual consent of both parties,” the statement read. The news was first reported by U-T San Diego.
Last week, TSRI faculty members sent a letter expressing a lack of confidence in Marletta and disappointment that they weren’t being involved more in the negotiations with USC. TSRI has been in dire financial straits with funding from pharmaceutical companies drying up as federal research funding is squeezed by budgetary tightening in Washington, DC.
For its part, USC seemed to be relatively sanguine about the scuttled deal. “USC faculty often collaborate with TSRI researchers, and we look forward to future opportunities to work together,” said USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett in a statement e-mailed to The Scientist.
Several TSRI researchers acting as department chairs at the La Jolla, California-based research institute declined to comment on the situation.