Academic Capitalism and the New Economy: Markets, State, and Higher Education

JHU Press
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As colleges and universities become more entrepreneurial in a post-industrial economy, they focus on knowledge less as a public good than as a commodity to be capitalized on in profit-oriented activities. In Academic Capitalism and the New Economy, higher education scholars Sheila Slaughter and Gary Rhoades detail the aggressive engagement of U.S. higher education institutions in the knowledge-based economy and analyze the efforts of colleges and universities to develop, market, and sell research products, educational services, and consumer goods in the private marketplace.

Slaughter and Rhoades track changes in policy and practice, revealing new social networks and circuits of knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as new organizational structures and expanded managerial capacity to link higher education institutions and markets. They depict an ascendant academic capitalist knowledge/learning regime expressed in faculty work, departmental activity, and administrative behavior. Clarifying the regime's internal contradictions, they note the public subsidies embedded in new revenue streams and the shift in emphasis from serving student customers to leveraging resources from them.

Defining the terms of academic capitalism in the new economy, this groundbreaking study offers essential insights into the trajectory of American higher education.

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About the author

Sheila Slaughter is a professor of higher education at the University of Georgia and coauthor, with Larry L. Leslie, of Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gary Rhoades is director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona and general secretary of the American Association of University Professors.

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Additional Information

Publisher
JHU Press
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Published on
Dec 29, 2010
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781421401621
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Government & Business
Business & Economics / Urban & Regional
Education / Higher
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Today, nearly every aspect of higher education—including student recruitment, classroom instruction, faculty research, administrative governance, and the control of intellectual property—is embedded in a political economy with links to the market and the state. Academic capitalism offers a powerful framework for understanding this relationship. Essentially, it allows us to understand higher education’s shift from creating scholarship and learning as a public good to generating knowledge as a commodity to be monetized in market activities.

In Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization, Brendan Cantwell and Ilkka Kauppinen assemble an international team of leading scholars to explore the profound ways in which globalization and the knowledge economy have transformed higher education around the world. The book offers an in-depth assessment of the theoretical foundations of academic capitalism, as well as new empirical insights into how the process of academic capitalism has played out. Chapters address academic capitalism from historical, transnational, national, and local perspectives. Each contributor offers fascinating insights into both new conceptual interpretations of and practical institutional and national responses to academic capitalism.

Incorporating years of research by influential theorists and building on the work of Sheila Slaughter, Larry Leslie, and Gary Rhoades, Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization provides a provocative update for understanding academic capitalism. The book will appeal to anyone trying to make sense of contemporary higher education.

-- Jenny J. Lee, University of Arizona
Is everything in a university for sale if the price is right? In this book, one of America's leading educators cautions that the answer is all too often "yes." Taking the first comprehensive look at the growing commercialization of our academic institutions, Derek Bok probes the efforts on campus to profit financially not only from athletics but increasingly, from education and research as well. He shows how such ventures are undermining core academic values and what universities can do to limit the damage.

Commercialization has many causes, but it could never have grown to its present state had it not been for the recent, rapid growth of money-making opportunities in a more technologically complex, knowledge-based economy. A brave new world has now emerged in which university presidents, enterprising professors, and even administrative staff can all find seductive opportunities to turn specialized knowledge into profit.


Bok argues that universities, faced with these temptations, are jeopardizing their fundamental mission in their eagerness to make money by agreeing to more and more compromises with basic academic values. He discusses the dangers posed by increased secrecy in corporate-funded research, for-profit Internet companies funded by venture capitalists, industry-subsidized educational programs for physicians, conflicts of interest in research on human subjects, and other questionable activities.


While entrepreneurial universities may occasionally succeed in the short term, reasons Bok, only those institutions that vigorously uphold academic values, even at the cost of a few lucrative ventures, will win public trust and retain the respect of faculty and students. Candid, evenhanded, and eminently readable, Universities in the Marketplace will be widely debated by all those concerned with the future of higher education in America and beyond.

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