Wednesday, August 08, 2007

CSUS Cash Wranglers Make Largest Pitch to CIRM

The San Diego Union-Tribune today explored an attempt to "wrangle" $31 million out of the California stem cell agency by the state college and community college systems.

Reporter Terri Somers appears to be the only mainstream reporter in the state writing about the sweeping proposal, which comes up today before CIRM's Oversight Committee in San Francisco.

Here are some excerpts from her story:
"This is the first time an entire state system has asked for funding from the state stem cell institute, although several nonprofits have had funding suggestions.

"'This is definitely the largest request we have seen, and of course their constituency is the largest educational system in the world,' said Robert Klein, chairman of the stem cell institute's board.

"Of the $208 million in research and training grants approved by the institute, $109.9 million has been promised to scientists and laboratories in the University of California system. The UC system, which is separate from the CSU system, is more widely known for its doctorate and post-doctorate programs."
She continued:
"The strategic plan includes $38 million for training of undergraduate and master's degree-level technical staff. It also includes $147 million for training programs, some of which the Cal State and community college systems can compete for.

"But the the systems would like the $31 million to set up their own cohesive, statewide programs."
Somers wrote:
"Whether the stem cell institute could legally fund these proposals is something Klein said he expects its lawyers to discuss today.

"'There is a great deal of flexibility in Proposition 71 to address ideas of high merit,' Klein said of the voter initiative that created the institute."

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