Won and Lost at SAIS

Anyone in academic circles expressing dismay over the apparent demise of the “U.S-Korea Institute” at Johns Hopkins’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington now that the government of South Korea has cancelled its funding might pause to ask why Seoul was paying for USKI lock, stock, and barrel in the first place. Hopkins is not known for turning away big donors with shady financials, though nailing down whether it is more or less tainted in this regard than any other major American university would be a lengthy homework assignment. But the obvious conflict of interest at USKI was right up there with drug industry money behind drug research at the School of Medicine (a few IRB’s get involved in East Baltimore, at least).  No doubt Seoul will find some new professors happy to accept 20 billion won for their totally unbiased scholarship.

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