Who thinks a known casino supporter should be using university funds to pay for polls of his pet projects, especially when its something the private sector would likely fund anyway. That's exactly what Clyde Barrow did in his recent poll of New Bedford citizens, to test whether they'd want a casino in the city. Now, no one should question the importance of university professors researching their own interests when there's some kind of academic or scientific merit, or little purpose for the private sector to get involved - but it's been made obvious again and again that Clyde Barrow an unbiased observer when it comes to casinos in Massachusetts. Hence, his deep connections to the industry in the past. Most professors study things with an open mind, just trying to learn information before coming up with any serious conclusions. Clyde Barrow's more akin to the guy who knew the answer before the question, rarely ever considering any facts beyond how much money he thinks Massachusetts could make, using science others consider flawed to come up with those numbers in the first place.
Seriously, though, where's the Scientific Method? Was the fact that casinos are Bay State bliss ever in doubt with Mr. Barrow? There would actually be no problem with that - if got his own little think tank and did his 'research' (you know, counting license plates) funded by the industry instead of the university, or even if he disclosed his conflicts of interest and appearances of such.
The bottom line: Barrow's doing no favors to the University, the city of New Bedford or the Commonwealth. There are plenty of other, much better uses for the resources of UMASS Dartmouth than propping up the casino industry, especially when there's almost no chance in hell of a casino opening in New Bedford, whether or not Massachusetts legalizes Class 3 gambling. Furthermore, university resources should fund projects that the private sector has little incentive to be involved in, or at least something that benefits the public health, not studies that the private sector is very capable of funding itself.
Wouldn't it be a much better use of university resources to study the effects of the black market (drugs) on New Bedford, an international leader in offloading heroin? Or, how about studying why the city suffers from some of the worst drop out rates in the state? Not important enough for UMASS? What about studying why family median income lags so far behind the rest of the state in New Bedford, even many of the other struggling cities across Massachusetts? Nah - not important enough. Clearly, we need to be doing the casino lobby's work for them! Now that's important!