Article: Should Academic Capitalism Shape Teaching and Research?

Dear Commons Community,

Patrick Brindle, has a provocative and well-researched article entitled, Should Academic Capitalism Shape Teaching and Research, in yesterday’s edition of Business and Universities. Brindle is an historian turned social scientist turned writer, and was a publisher for research methods at SAGE Publications until late 2014. He presently is a visiting lecturer at City University, London. Brindle raises important questions regarding the relationships between private industry and universities. He concludes that these relationships will only increase in the years to come with uncertain implications for higher education. Below is the executive summary. The actual article requires a subscription to SAGE Publications.

Well worth the read!



ISSUE: Business and Universities June 22, 2015

Business and Universities

By Patrick Brindle 

Should academic capitalism shape teaching and research?

Executive Summary

Policymakers increasingly see universities as engines of economic growth and as “incubators of innovation.” They argue that academic capitalism—an umbrella term for a variety of market-driven university ventures—is an innovative way to fund teaching, research and campus expansion in an era of tight budgets and rising tuition. They also say it benefits businesses, especially start-ups, by giving them access to campus research and facilities. Schools, the community and the economy all benefit. But critics say the close relationship between universities and the business world raises numerous ethical questions and warn that corporate funding can harm the ability of faculty to teach and research freely, two activities essential to good science and a healthy democratic society. Both sides agree that academic capitalism is here to stay and that financial realities will make it even more important to universities in the decades to come.


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