Cronyism and Conflicts of Interest—or, Maybe I’m Just too Damned Cynical

ACADEME BLOG

In my previous post, I remarked on the incongruities John Kasich’s appointment of Gordon Gee to lead a statewide study of how to increase affordability at Ohio’s public universities.

I did not anticipate that I would then almost immediately come across an unsettling, related article at Cleveland.com. Written by Henry J. Gomes and Brent Larkin of the northeast Ohio Media Group, the article is titled “Ohio State University Has Invested Millions with Friend of Gov. John Kasich and Gordon Gee, but Officials Won’t Share Details about the Deal.”

Ohio State University has apparently invested $50 million in the venture-capital start-up Drive Capital. The OSU investment currently constitutes more than one-quarter of the $181 million invested to date, though the announced target for initial investments is $300 million.

Drive Capital is headed by Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen, described as veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalists who were formerly partners at…

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