WASHINGTON: On July 29, as Donald Kennedy announced his resignation as president of Stanford University, research institutions throughout the United States were rushing to meet a 5 P.M. deadline to comment on changes in the rules governing how much they can charge for the indirect costs of doing federally funded research.

Although the timing was a coincidence, the simultaneity of the activities symbolized Kennedy's inability to quell, through personal response, the indirect costs controversy that has plagued the U.S. academic world for the past several months a controversy that Kennedy and his institution principally precipitated.

His peers in academe note that failure even as they give expression to their sympathy. "The events of the past year are a sorry climax to a brilliant career," says Richard Atkinson, chancellor of the University of California, San Diego. In the opinion of Donald Langenberg, chancellor of the University of Maryland, "it's terribly unfortunate...

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