Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to the witnesses for all their information today.
From my perspective, you all seem to be pushing for closer ties between universities and industry. That seems to be a theme that's emerging here, and I'm asking you to help me understand the balance that you're seeking or what might be appropriate. In terms of just focusing a bit, I'd like to think about a single professor in a university and how they are supposed to use their time.
Traditionally it's been that the professor teaches or publishes in academic journals, essentially, and all that information that they publish in academic journals is open for public consumption and for companies and other academics to look at and evaluate. A lot of this is built into the tenure structure, which is, of course, very hard to renegotiate. In fact, it's one of those sacrosanct parts of a university. We've had presidents and vice-presidents in here saying that they don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole, because first of all, you would have faculty leaving, especially the high-priced faculty, who would leave if you messed with their tenure structure.
Research grants traditionally were established to maximize academic freedom, and this, in a way, attracted high-priced talent to universities. They could get big grants, they could look at whatever they wanted to, they would publish that and make it open to the community. And this may or may not have had a commercial application. That wasn't necessarily something they cared about that much and it wasn't essentially their job. Their job was to teach and to publish. So it was very much focused on the choice of the researcher.
But now the granting system is changing a bit. It's moving away from that. We see a decline in discovery funding, which encourages academic freedom, and it's more toward pushing academics toward collaboration with industry.
If we're thinking about a single professor in a university who has to decide between teaching and publishing in journals, and now is looking at industry collaboration, which is going to take time away from one of those two core functions, I'm just wondering how you see what should be sacrificed. Should it be the teaching side or should it be the open publishing side? Because that's what's going to happen.
I will leave that open to all of you to decide.