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University to clarify independence from donor

The University of Mainz is to change the terms of a contract governing a €150-million donation from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation to clarify what influence the foundation has.

The university’s president Georg Krausch admitted on 4 July that the existing contract could theoretically allow the foundation to veto appointments to the university’s Institute of Molecular Biology, the news website Science Insider reported. He said the contract could also be interpreted as giving the foundation control over the institute’s research publications.

Krausch said that Boehringer Ingelheim has never blocked an appointment since making the donation in 2009, and that the wording regarding publications was “an error”, Science Insider reported. Nevertheless, he said that Mainz will work with the foundation on a revised wording.

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