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Criticized university shale gas center closes

BUFFALO — The University at Buffalo has closed its new shale gas research institute, which was under investigation by the State University Board of Trustees after a group of professors accused it of having undisclosed ties to industry.

Environmental groups have been critical of the institute since May, when it released its first report. The report concluded that state regulators in Pennsylvania have improved oversight of the gas drilling industry and New York’s regulations will prevent major environmental impacts.

A coalition of faculty, staff, students and alumni subsequently questioned its academic integrity and called for an inquiry into the institute’s industry ties.

On Monday, University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi announced his decision to close the institute effective immediately. He said the decision followed an internal assessment of the institute.