The environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has revived concerns at the University of California at Berkeley over the institution's ties to BP. The oil company gave the university $500 million for energy research in 2007 -- and many faculty members questioned the deal at the time. On Friday, a rally at Berkeley drew attention to the deal in light of recent events, with those at the rally saying it was time to revisit the university's ties to BP, the Associated Press reported. But Berkeley officials said that now isn't the time to walk away from the research. "The horrible events in the Gulf should only strengthen our commitment to find alternatives to fossil fuels," Graham Fleming, vice chancellor of research, told the AP. "Why would anyone's interest be served by stopping this research?"