South Dakota ponders potantial conflict of interest for university presidents

For sale: One ivory tower. Foundation needs replacing: A South Dakota state senator is pondering drafting legislation that would stop or limit university presidents in South Dakota from serving as highly paid board members for business corporations, like say, South Dakota State University President David Chicoine, who was appointed to Monsanto’s board of directors in April, for which he will earn almost $400,000 in salary and stock options. “To me, it just smacks of conflict of interest,” said Democratic Sen. Frank Kloucek . “Will this influence Monsanto’s research at SDSU? I don’t know. But it just seems plain wrong to me. Chicoine should know better.” Monsanto has contributed $367,000 in grants to researchers at SDSU, and in March, the ag company gave SDSU $1 million to set up a plant-breeding fellowship. (Argus Leader)

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