Continuing : A Tale Of Conflicting Interests

Posted: June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Metaphorical, whimsical, satirical, absolutely fantastical (certainly not prosecutable) tales of a land far away, continued.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

No drama is complete without some conflict, and real life has it’s conflicts too, in this case conflicts of interest. Please read the following material obtained through the Freedom Of Information Act regarding the relationship between Colorado State University and the Tres Santos developers.

New Report of CSU’s Conflict of Interests: CSU Conflicts of Interest 6June2015

….There never was a gift from Tres Santos to Colorado State University; rather it boils down to a business arrangement. The land is owned by a trust created in Monterrey, Mexico and the sole assets of that Trust are the CSU land and buildings. CSU has an ownership interest of less than 100% in the Trust with Tres Santos owning the remainder percentages. (The amounts were blacked out, along with any claim of transparency!)

There is a clause in the Trust that spells out Events of Breach providing that if CSU does not cure certain defined events within 30 days, then all of the so-called “gift of land and buildings” reverts to Tres Santos and CSU is removed from the MIRA property. A particular Event of Breach is: “any… [CSU] action that materially prejudices the brand or reputation of Tres Santos.”

Thus, CSU is at risk and would have to seriously consider the consequences of taking the described hypothetical action allowing its professors to publish findings that are contrary to the development scale of Tres Santos. This puts a black cloud over CSU and questions the integrity of professors, researchers, students and the entire CSU System — which is clearly an affront to Academic Freedom (teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results). Even if CSU allowed the report to be issued, the inherent Conflict of Interest taints the work product. CSU’s Ethics website states: “A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.” In addition to risking the loss of the land and buildings being provided by Tres Santos, CSU also risks losing over $1,000,000 (to date) of its Colorado taxpayers’ monies put into the startup, costs of an administration building and other assessed costs for the CSU Tres Santos Campus.

As for the fanfare of publicity about the magnanimous gift by Black Creek to CSU valued at $4.3 million, it just isn’t so. A gift is the voluntary transfer of property or funds to another without receiving anything of value in return and without conditions attached. Besides not being able to protect and exercise its Academic Freedom, other conditions imposed by Tres Santos include CSU being required to allow Tres Santos to use the CSU name and trademarks in its marketing; CSU being required to identify its research papers with the branding determined with Tres Santos; CSU’s Research Farm is to be designed to improve the Tres Santos open-space landscape with that facility to be kept in bloom during peak tourist season; CSU is to conduct business classes targeted to those businesses within the Tres Santos Project; and CSU programming is to be offered at discounted prices to Tres Santos guests and residents.

 As a local article said about Tres Santos, “Their entire operation is sort of undercover and deceptive” and that Tres Santos “has had the good sense to pussy foot into Todos Santos in stealth mode.”

This sham of a gift — and the tarnishing of CSU’s reputation as a first class research institution carrying out its ‘land grant mission’ — causes serious ethical violations through conflicts of interest and impingement of academic freedoms, all to allow a developer to make a buck at the expense of an existing community, its way of life, and its limited supply of water. It is unconscionable.

____________________________________________

Colorado State University (“CSU”) through related organizations entered into a formal agreement with Tres Santos.  In exchange for land and buildings, CSU is committed to performing various commercially beneficial obligations to Tres Santos. Yet, the formation documents of the CSU Mexican subsidiary have a prohibition against the pursuit of any commercial purposes with the corporate activities limited to altruistic community benefit.

One has to wonder based on the information made public to date whether CSURF-Mex, the Mexican subsidiary of CSU, is in violation of its Mexican non profit and tax-exempt status by committing to commercial obligations with Tres Santos.

The above material courtesy of Truth Santos.

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Comments
  1. Pat Adams says:

    I wrote a comment about this topic before you posted this conflict of interest info today. I accidentally posted on your drawing and comments about Almy and Many’s.

    This is important stuff for the people of Todos Santos to know and for others, too.

    • mongrel4u says:

      This info has been available on the Truth Santos Facebook page for a few days. It took me a while to get around to creating a comic to go with it. My hope is that we can make sure that as many CSU students as possible see what kind of activities in which their school is involved. Student energy has been known to help bring about change.

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