Today, the Revolving Door Project led a coalition of nine organizations in a letter to Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Dean Hari Osofsky. The letter calls on the university to implement fair disclosure requirements for its faculty and condemn the unethical practices of former Pritzker Dean Dr. Daniel Rodriguez. Read the full letter here.
The letter was precipitated by a legal brief filed by Dr. Rodriguez arguing that Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan should recuse herself from her agency’s investigation of Facebook for illegal monopolistic practices. However, while Dr. Rodriguez disclosed in his filing that he’d been retained by the law firm Kellogg Hansen, he did not disclose the client for whom Kellogg Hansen was working when it requested his services, nor did he disclose details of his fee. Kellogg Hansen, notably, is representing Facebook in the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit.
“It is disappointing enough to see a scholar of Dr. Rodriguez’s stature lend his talent to Facebook’s frivolous campaign against accountability. That Dr. Rodriguez has done so without being subject to any basic public disclosure requirements under Northwestern’s rules — such as how many hours he worked and what he was compensated — is against the interests of Northwestern and the broader public,” the organizations wrote.
Read the full letter here. The Revolving Door Project has written previously about the problem of academics trading on their universities’ reputations to perform for-profit work providing cover to monopolistic corporations. In 2016, ProPublica reported at length on economic “consultancies” which rent out academics to argue for the approval of mega-mergers. These academics trade on their perception of professorial independence while developing arguments and twisting data to reach the foregone conclusion for which their clients pay them.
PHOTO CREDIT: “Chicago – Near North Side: Northwestern University – Chicago Campus” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0