Concerns over corporate cash channelled to universities

The news that banking giant Credit Suisse is to invest millions in the University of St Gallen has once again raised the thorny issue of private funding and academic independence, writes Isobel Leybold-Johnson for SwissInfo.ch.

Credit Suisse and the University of St Gallen (HSG), well known for its business and law studies, announced in March this year that they were entering into a strategic partnership, in which the bank would contribute CHF20 million (US$22 million) over the next 10 years. This includes CHF10 million towards establishing the HSG Center for Financial Services Innovation, which focuses on “interfaces between finance, management and law” as well as several professorships.

HSG has made its contract with Credit Suisse public, and many other Swiss universities have done the same in the name of transparency. This follows the lessons learned after the University of Zurich (UZH) was obliged to publish its once secret sponsoring contract with UBS in 2013. But risks remain, says Markus Müller, a public law professor at the University of Bern and one of the original founders of the Zürcher Appell – an online petition calling for the protection of academic independence established in the wake of the UBS/UZH deal.
Full report on the Swissinfo.ch site