Monday, June 27, 2011

Sacramento Bee: 'CIRM Is In Trouble'

The Sacramento Bee today editorialized on the election of Jonathan Thomas as chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency in a commentary headlined "Salary for new CIRM chief does not bode well."

The Bee said,
"Although Thomas comes with an impressive background in the financing world, his salary adds to a management overhead that already is excessive at CIRM. Moreover, it perpetuates a dual-executive arrangement at CIRM that is unusual for a scientific institute and inevitably create conflicts."
The Bee said,
"Robert Klein II, chairman and initiative kingpin of California's stem-cell research agency, has stepped down. Given our assessment of Klein's imperious operating style, you might think that champagne corks would be flying. That is not the case.

"Although Klein no longer is acting in an official capacity, the oversight board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine decided last week to choose a successor with ties to Klein. To make matters worse, this new chairman – Los Angeles bond financier Jonathan Thomas – will be paid nearly $400,000 for the job."
The Bee continued,
"CIRM is in trouble. It has poured billions into research grants, but is running out of money and has shown itself to be inept at basic governmental functions. Oversight board members are frustrated that basic information about grants and board decisions can't get posted on the institute's website in a timely manner. Members of the public are even more frustrated.
Can Thomas bring a new culture to CIRM? If he can, it might – just might – justify his salary."
As of about 9 a.m. today, the editorial had drawn eight comments from Bee readers. None reflected favorably on CIRM. Sphere: Related Content

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