Following months of negotiations with philanthropist Jon Huntsman, Sr. and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the University of Utah board of trustees has approved a new memorandum of understanding regarding the revenue sharing, operations, and fundraising of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News report.
Under the agreement, the university will pay $68 million to the institute, while the foundation will recommit to awarding $120 million in support of the institute by 2025 and has signed off on a detailed formula for how Huntsman Cancer Hospital revenues will be shared with the U. Health Care system and the institute. Huntsman, who in 1998 provided the funds to establish the institute, claimed in May that the university owed the institute $54 million under a previous agreement requiring the school to pay a minimum of $13.5 million for operating expenses starting in 2013. According to the new agreement, the $68 million from the university will be in addition to its regular revenue-sharing payments and will be made in installments.
Simmering tensions between Huntsman and university officials erupted in April after Vivian Lee, senior vice president of University of Utah Health Sciences, fired the institute's CEO and director, Mary Beckerle. After Huntsman called for Lee and the university's president David Pershing to be removed, Beckerle was reinstated. Lee resigned, however, expressing sadness over the public dispute. The new memorandum preserves Beckerle's direct reporting line to Pershing, and the institute will continue to receive 50 percent of the hospital's revenue, with the hospital and U. Health Care splitting the rest.
Following the vote, Pershing read from a statement: "As Jon Huntsman has always said, cancer moves fast and we must move faster. We are gratified to have emerged from several months of discussion better positioned to bring together our shared resources, world-class talent, and experience to fight cancer and care for our patients."