Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scripps-USC Deal is Dead; Cash Problems Remain

The $600 million merger of The Scripps Research Institute with the University of Southern California has been quietly put to rest, but the issues behind it – money, money and money -- are still very much alive.

Scripps announced the termination of the proposed deal yesterday in a three-paragraph statement. Bradley Fikes and Gary Robbins of the San Diego U-T, who have been on this story like a dog on a bone, wrote,
James Paulson, who chairs the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, praised the decision in an email to U-T San Diego.
“'This is a very positive step taken by the board and Dr. (Michael) Marletta(president of Scripps),’ Paulson wrote. ‘It clears the slate to look at all possible options to secure the future of TSRI, and will undoubtedly be welcomed by the faculty.’”
Faculty leaders had called for the removal of Marletta, declaring that they lack confidence in him. Scripps is running a $21 million deficit for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. It also has come up short in philanthropic contributions while federal funding for research has shrunk.

UC San Diego earlier expressed an interest in some sort of arrangement with Scripps, which is reknown for its biomedical research. But little information has surfaced on whether that possibility has advanced. 

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