While Dingell panel moves to curb misuse of grant money, some observers worry that overall federal support will be reduced

WASHINGTON--As Stanford University stands accused of misusing millions of dollars in federal funds meant to reimburse the school for the cost of supporting faculty research, the issue is not simply one of $7,000 bedsheets and $1,200 antique fruitwood commodes. The more important question for scientists is whether some of that money has been diverted from research.

Many working scientists, who have long resented what they see as a "tax" collected by the university on their research grants, believe that the answer is yes. They are joined by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and other members of the oversight subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which conducted a seven-hour hearing last month on the accounting practices of Stanford and the relevant government agencies.

At the same time, federal officials who...

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