UH-Navy research breaks no new ground
The University of Hawaii has agreed to create a Navy research center off-campus.
The University of Hawaii has made significant changes in plans for a Navy research facility in order to accommodate antimilitary activists who have opposed it since the Board of Regents gave its preliminary approval of the proposal nearly four years ago. The activists continue to oppose UH having anything to do with the military, but those are extremist views.
UH President David McClain altered the original proposal last September to place the University Affiliated Research Center for the Navy off-campus and eliminate classified research during its first three years of operation. He added last week that none of the center's research will be classified during that period. Under the original proposal, 15 percent of the research would have been classified.
The original proposal also included a section that provided for setting up an "intelligence network." That would have pertained to classified research, so it, too, has been eliminated.
The center, to be called the Applied Research Laboratory, is estimated to result in $10 million for UH researchers over five years. In 2006, UH researchers accepted 142 contracts worth $65 million in research contracts with the Department of Defense, so this does not break new ground toward militarization of the university.
The military research is expected to focus on the university's strength - ocean sciences, astronomy, optics and communication technology. University officials say the National Science Foundation, NASA and private industry also will be allowed to use the task force.
The center will be similar to those at four other respected universities - Johns Hopkins, Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington.
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