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Mass. Colleges Get Bad Grades On Conflict Of Interest Transparency

(AP)

Bill Helman is a partner at Greylock Partners, an investment firm. Harvard University has long invested with Greylock. Helman is also a board member of the Harvard Management Company, which overseas where Harvard invests its money. But despite those facts having been reported in the media, the relationship was no where to be found in recent federal disclosure filings.

This kind of conflict is just one of many that a new report says happens at Massachusetts colleges and universities at an above-average rate.

The report has found that 70 percent of the 20 wealthiest private colleges and universities in Massachusetts do business with at least one trustee-affiliated firm. That’s more than double the national average of 25 percent.

The report also found that many of those elite universities do a bad job of disclosing records of conflicts.

The report, published by Boston nonprofit think tank the Tellus Institute, was funded in part by the Local 615 chapter of the Service Employees Union, which represents many employees at colleges and universities.

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