Academic Freedom at University of Hawaii on the Line-An Open Letter to University of Hawaii President David McClain About the Proposed University Affiliated Research Center

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According to news reports you, in your capacity as interim president of the University of Hawaii, will be stating your position on the proposed University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) at the Board of Regents meeting this Thursday. A contentious debate over the UARC has been ongoing for over a year, so all interested parties are looking forward to your decision.

The battle lines have been drawn between supporters and opponents of the UARC with the main front being academic freedom, the future of UH and type of institution UH is and will become.


On the side that favors UARC are most of the researchers who will be eligible to work on UARC contracts and community supporters of the U.S. Navy and its mission. The university and community owe a debt of gratitude to Gary Ostrander, vice chancellor for research and graduate education at Manoa, for his extensive efforts in bringing the UARC to UH.

In correcting the countless lies about the UARC, Fujio Matsuda stated last Sunday in ”’The Honolulu Advertiser”’ the real nature of the UARC:

”'”UARC may be thought of as an expedited funding mechanism for specially selected universities with special core competencies that meet Department of Defense needs. In our case, the Navy is the part of the DOD that is involved.””’

As Dr. Matsuda makes clear, the research conducted under UARC contracts will not be much different from that already taking place at the university. He also notes that military funded research in general, and the UARC in particular, is consistent with the university