The head of the London School of Economics, Howard Davies, has resigned over the links between his institution and the Libyan regime. There appears to be some sympathy in the media, with the Guardian in particular pointing out that universities have been encouraged to get more and more funding from private sources.
Readers here are aware, of course, of the source of funding for the Grantham Institute, home of a certain Mr Ward. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noted the incongruousness of Ward's overtly political actions being issued from the heart of a centre of learning.
Of course Mr Grantham is free to do what he likes with his own money, including setting up study institutes in famous universities. To my mind the problem is more in the fact that the LSE took the money without any apparent concern for what the Grantham Institute would be getting up to. There is something of a parallel in the case of the Gadaffi money, which seems to have been accepted without considering the risk of damage to LSE's reputation. Pecunia non olet, perhaps, but in business reputation is all. In a rapidly commercialising higher education sector, university bosses would do well to remember it.