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Lines blurred in professors' taxpayer-funded research

Matt Reed and John McCarthy of Florida Today examined university records to show that every day in Florida, state university professors work as consultants, expert witnesses and researchers-for-hire, earning thousands in fees. Most often, those faculty members work in their roles as public employees, sponsored by grants from corporations, local governments or trade groups. "But roughly one out of four professors also work side jobs as consultants or other specialists, pocketing extra annual income of $4,500 to more than $12,000, depending on their disciplines." The investigation found the work has gone uncharted for years. The newspaper found dozens of examples of research — economic-impact reports, in particular — commissioned by trade groups or special interests to help lobbying efforts.

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