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Conflict of Interest for Vice Chair of the UC Regents, Richard C. Blum?

We the students of the UC call for an end to militarism in our university, and an immediate censure of those regents who cannot and will not act in the best interest of the University and the nation because of their personal financial interests.
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Conflict of Interest for Vice Chair of the UC Regents, Richard C. Blum?


Vice Chair of the UC Regents, Richard C. Blum, also happens to be Vice Chair of the URS Corporation. URS Corporation describes itself as “… one of the largest engineering design services firms worldwide and a major U.S. federal government contractor. “ URS is indeed a major government contractor.

URS had $3.38 billion in revenues in 2004. It is the 36th largest military-industrial corporation in the United States with $803 million in contracts with the Department of Defense1. URS Corporation also does work for the Department of Energy. In July of 2000 URS was awarded a contract for “design and construction services at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.?2 This five-year contract (with a five “option? year extension) will enrich URS by $25 million per year. Given Mr. Blum’s position on the UC Board of Regents, the public body that manages the Laboratory, and his position as Vice Chair of the URS Corporation, a business that stands to profit from its work at the Laboratory, is this not a conflict of interests?

This is not the only nuclear weapons business venture that Mr. Blum is engaged in. EG&G, a division of URS Corporation was an original contractor with the U.S. military during the Manhattan Project. EG&G provided technical and engineering expertise to test the first bombs detonated in New Mexico. According to URS Corp, “it was a natural evolution that the company would support the Atomic Energy Commission in its weapons research and development after the war. This work for the Commission provided the historic foundation to the Company’s present-day technology base.?3

URS’s contracts with the military and nuclear-weapons complex are incredibly extensive. The Corporation currently holds multi-million dollar contracts for the “reconstruction? of Iraq, and numerous contracts for aerospace and naval weapons system engineering. In a 2003 press release celebrating the company’s position as the 30th largest defense contractor URS remarked of its EG&G division that; “Recently, the division was awarded contracts with the Naval Surface Warfare Centers in Virginia and Indiana to assist in integrating weapons systems on existing and new ships, as well as with the U.S. Army Forces Command to provide operations planning, troop mobilization and training for weapon systems. EG&G also won a major logistics support contract with the U.S. Army Forces Command that can be used by any federal agency for logistics-related support and services.?4

The further militarization of the University of California is unacceptable. That certain members of the UC Board of Regents stand to profit from contracts let by the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy it is obvious why these regents would favor the University’s further involvement in the nuclear weapons laboratories, and military-industrial research in general. However, this situation constitutes a severe conflict of interest in the very least, and blatant war profiteering at its worst.

We the students of the UC call for an end to militarism in our university, and an immediate censure of those regents who cannot and will not act in the best interest of the University and the nation because of their personal financial interests.

For more dirt on the Regents check out: www.fiatpax.net
Click on image for a larger version

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The Regents were scared shitless.
(photo: josh sonnenfeld)
 
 


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Subsequent coverage in SF Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO
Regents vote to make a bid for Los Alamos
Northrop Grumman drops out, leaving field to UC and Texas

Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer

Friday, May 27, 2005

Richard Blum (left), Gerald Parsky, UC President Robert C...

The University of California Regents voted 11-1 Thursday to join the competition for the next contract to run Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the nation's first atomic weapons lab.

"We're off and running!" S. Robert Foley, UC's vice president of laboratory administration, told The Chronicle after the midday vote at the regents meeting at UCSF's Laurel Heights campus.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN SC-IMC'S OTHERPRESS
santacruz.indymedia.org/otherpress/display/566
 

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