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Tarnished Image, Tighter Budgets Stymie Academic Science As School Year Begins

Still reeling from recent bouts of bad P.R., and in a bind for funding, some schools are reassessing their research missions As the academic year begins, university executives, research administrators, and others are reviewing with considerable trepidation a deskload of headaches affecting their 1991-1992 research agendas. There are stacks of articles about university misconduct and fraud from major newspapers and magazines, accounting ledgers revealing budgetary shortfalls, and memos from di

Robin Eisner
Still reeling from recent bouts of bad P.R., and in a bind for funding, some schools are reassessing their research missions

As the academic year begins, university executives, research administrators, and others are reviewing with considerable trepidation a deskload of headaches affecting their 1991-1992 research agendas.

There are stacks of articles about university misconduct and fraud from major newspapers and magazines, accounting ledgers revealing budgetary shortfalls, and memos from disgruntled science faculty complaining about competition for tight research dollars. University scientists themselves are coming back to piles of grant applications they will meticulously fill out with little guarantee of success.

How will this blend of fiscal pressure and bad P.R. ultimately impact academic research? Some administrators interviewed for this article say that the difficulties will not trickle down to the faculty. The problems, they say, can be handled at the administrative level; indeed, they go so far as to say...

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