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The University has made the decision to not accept research funding from any tobacco companies. This decision did not come lightly, despite the fact that it would impact some of our faculty members. It is the right thing to do, as these companies have knowingly caused tremendous morbidity and mortality, which we are working so hard to diminish. For several years, the Bloomberg School of Public Health has had this same policy of not accepting this type of funding. The potential impact of this decision on the School of Medicine was made several years ago, and the analysis showed it would cause insignificant impact. However, in order to not abruptly terminate funding for some investigators, we had approved non-competitive renewals. We have not approved new or competitive renewal applications since that time. This approach allowed investigators to seek alternative funding over the past several years. We have now decided that funding from tobacco companies will no longer be accepted at all.
We hope you will agree that academic freedom in large part allows faculty to explore vast areas via research without limitation, but with public responsibility and moral conviction. Some may argue that our peer institutions have not instituted this policy. However, we continue to have more NIH funding and other funding than most of our peer institutions. Therefore, discontinuation of this type of funding should not affect our rankings among peer institutions.
It is our hope that the faculty will support this administrative policy decision.
Chi Dang, MD, PhD
Vice Dean for Research