International Collaborations and
Donations to the Endowment
The Institute is now engaged in an important discussion on the topic of large international collaborations. Unfortunately, one aspect of those collaborations has, until now, received no attention. That element of these collaborations is the matter of large donations to the endowment by the sponsoring entity.
In at least some cases, MIT’s participation in these collaborations has been conditioned upon receipt of such a donation. I understand that the rationale is simply that the usual cost accounting procedures do not adequately represent the true cost of MIT’s participation and that a donation is therefore required to make it possible. I believe that this position has a great deal of merit. However, I also believe that the existence of all such arrangements should be publicly acknowledged and described in some detail so that we can move forward in full possession of all the facts.
Ken Smith, Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemical Engineering