Davies resigned of course, accepting moral responsibility for the loss of face the institution has suffered in recent days – the right thing to do anyway. It is also easy to see that academic institutions have a greater public responsibility, as compared to say financial institutions. What is, say the moral burden on the financial institutions and their highly qualified fund managers that have happily accepted, managed and grown Gaddafi’s funds? Are policy think-tanks subject to similar levels of scrutiny? Is the Monitor group taking a similar hit for its role in this mess?
But this also raises a couple of other important questions
- How closely should universities work with governments – while advising governments on policy, when does one go from being a policy advocate to being an instrument of government policy?
- Should we expect academic institutions to have better foresight? Is that even possible when it comes to politics and power?