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No-Go for Scripps, USC

The Scripps Research Institute says that it won't merge with or be acquired by the University of Southern California, according to U-T San Diego.

Last month the two institutions said that they were mulling "a relationship that would enhance the missions of both institutions." Scripps is currently grappling with the expense of its satellite Florida campus, higher pension costs, and increased competition for federal grant money. USC, U-T San Diego noted at that time, has been having success in private fundraising.

In a statement yesterday, Scripps' board of trustees said "the nonbinding letter of intent on discussions about a broad partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) has been terminated by mutual consent of both parties."

The move to join the two institutes was opposed by Scripps faculty, U-T San Diego notes now.

"This is a very positive step taken by the Board and [Scripps Research President Michael] Marletta," James Paulson, the chair of the cell and molecular biology department, tells the paper in an email. "It clears the slate to look at all possible options to secure the future of TSRI, and will undoubtedly be welcomed by the faculty."