Potential conflict of interest results in resignation of University of Texas’ chief commercialization officer

On December 31, 2011, Richard Miller resigned as the University of Texas’ first technology commercialization officer after having led the university to a banner year in licensing agreements, licensing revenues and patents granted. According to Juan Sanchez, UT’s VP of Research, Mr. Miller’s desire to have a stake in the start-up companies he was helping to create created a conflict of interest that UT “would not allow.” In effect, a scenario could have developed in which Mr. Miller would be “negotiating with himself.”