Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's not the principle of the thing, it's the price we're haggling about?

Inside Higher Ed:
The dispute and negotiations over a proposed gift to rename the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health have largely focused — at least in public — on the ethics of naming a college for a corporation. But e-mail records obtained by The Des Moines Register suggest that the size of the proposed gift may also have been a factor. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield offered $15 million to have the college named for the company, an idea that faculty members first objected to but have since agreed to reconsider. One e-mail quoted by the newspaper, from the college’s dean, noted that other schools of public health had been named (for individuals) based on gifts of $25 million to $50 million, much more than Wellmark was proposing. “The deans I consulted all indicated that an offer of $15 million would be embarrassingly small and significantly undervalue our college,” wrote the Iowa dean, Jim Merchant.

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