University of Calgary president Elizabeth Cannon is defending the research done by the Institute of Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy.

On Monday, the former director of a group within the institute, David Keith, called it a failure saying ISEEE is poorly managed and is not operating as independently from the private sector as it should.

Keith alleged an academic was removed from his position at the university at the request from an energy company.

"The University of Calgary is an autonomous institution. It is one we value. The independent scholarly inquiry, that's very important. All hiring is made by the university. That is our accountability," said Cannon when asked specifically if that allegation is true.

She says the University of Calgary has numerous partnerships with private industry but operates independently of those companies.

"I'm saying the university makes the hiring decisions and we are accountable for them," said Cannon.

Cannon says partnerships make the institution better by providing scholarships and funding research.

The Alberta Liberal Party is calling for an investigation into Keith's allegations.