“Nature abhors a vacuum,” the physicists say, so no one should be surprised by the news that Wright State University seems to have gotten into the rent-an-engineer business that firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and so on dominate. Ironically, academia actually has advantages over the Indian firms, in that (a) there is no H-1B cap for university workers, and (b) prevailing wage is calculated by the academic labor market, i.e. the subsistence-level salaries of graduate assistants, post docs and assistant professors. Nature abhors an unused loophole, apparently, and Wright State seems to have responded.
But this “vacuum” may have been filled years ago, as I’ve suspected for a quite a while that this is actually a common path. Intel has a research center (a “lablet,” they call it) at Carnegie Mellon University, and at several other universities as well. And I was startled a couple of years ago to find that Microsoft has its own post-doc positions. Now that the Wright State situation has been exposed, hopefully journalists will check whether abuse is occurring in these other “collaborations.”