Rising Indirect Costs Threaten Research

From Yale To Stanford, Universities Are Thoubled Shortfalls in overhead, depreciation, and other indirect costs can tear apart faculties and bring strong provosts to their knees. Indirect costs aren’t glamorous. They won’t solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction or find the charm in quarks. But whisper those two simple words in the ear of virtually any president or provost of a major research university, and you may see a strong person blanch. The reason: Indirect costs are risin

Ray Spangenbueg
May 29, 1988

From Yale To Stanford, Universities Are Thoubled Shortfalls in overhead, depreciation, and other indirect costs can tear apart faculties and bring strong provosts to their knees.

Indirect costs aren’t glamorous. They won’t solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction or find the charm in quarks. But whisper those two simple words in the ear of virtually any president or provost of a major research university, and you may see a strong person blanch. The reason: Indirect costs are rising, contributing to an existing shortfall of cash that threatens the very foundations of research.

No one at a university "especially not scientists toiling in their labs, can escape these costs, which cover everything from maintenance and operations to depreciation and administration. The issue of who pays has torn apart researchers and their university administrators. It has led to strife among faculties, pitting scientists who cover their share against those who do not....