Faculty in the News In the News

December 3, 2013 at 8:04 am

Vedder: The Big New Bloat in University Research

“Like compulsive Las Vegas gamblers, many university presidents like to make big bets hoping for large payoffs. And like most gamblers, they usually lose,” writes Dr. Richard Vedder in a Dec. 2 Fiscal Times column. Vedder is Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

My school is one of the few lucky ones that actually have made some money, ranking fourth in a 2008 Forbes survey on “return on investment” in research, by virtue of researcher John Kopchick’s discovery of the human growth hormone drug Somavert.

But Ohio University is atypical. In a new study for the Brookings Institution, Walter D. Valdivia confirms what I long have suspected: most technology transfer offices (TTOs) lose money. His estimate based on a survey of 155 universities for 2012 is that 130 lost money:-84 percent. “What is more, …2012 was a good year because over the last 20 years, on average, 87 percent did not break even.”

Read his full article in the Fiscal Times.

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