Leader: Openness is the best defence for probity

January 4, 2002

The Association of University Teachers has picked a good issue - the ethics of commercial sponsorship - on which their official candidate for general secretary can campaign. Codes of ethics in public life are all the rage - except apparently in Parliament. It is important to be clear. The row over the parliamentary commissioner for standards is not about MPs having outside interests but about declaring them. If it cannot be told, it should not be done.

The same should apply to sponsorship in universities. It would be good if universities agreed to use their muscle collectively to ensure that they were not played off against each other and that commercial sponsors paid full overheads and attached no strings. It would also be unrealistic with universities in their present needy state. Declaring interests (as journal editors are now trying to insist) and appointing a watchdog (as the AUT suggests) would be a respectable second best.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns