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.
Winner of the 2003 "Silver" Frandson Award for Literature in Higher Education Winner of the Alice L. Beeman Research Award in Communications for Educational Advancement "Provocative and original... Bok is one of the premier elder statesman of American higher education."--Stephen B. Sample and Warren Bennis, Los Angeles Times "Astute and fair-minded... Derek Bok, a sensible man, has written a sensible book about the commercialization of the American university."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World "Contending that the trend toward excessive commercialization is not yet irreversible, Bok offers cogent, urgent arguments for reorienting universities toward fulfilling their unique purpose uncorrupted by the insidious influence of money."--USA Today "Derek Bok begins his new book with [a] nightmare of university avarice and moral decay. Some of the moneymaking schemes are imaginary, but, as Mr. Bok warns, the dangers inherent in the insatiable demands for revenue are not... It is increasingly difficult ... to meet higher education's insatiable financial demands through conventional means... Mr. Bok notes that commercialization has seeped even into the core educational mission... Having a Derek Bok to remind us of our higher calling and the present dangers may, if his words are heeded, be more consequential than we can imagine."--Anthony W. Marx, New York Times "Raises lots of big, disquieting questions... Universities that blur the lines between their own culture and that of the corporate world endanger their values without substantially raising the value of their endowments. It is, in short, shortsighted. With the publication of this book, the nation's universities can't say they weren't warned."--David M. Shribman, Chicago Tribune "Derek Bok, the former president of Harvard, argues that institutions have, perhaps unwittingly, made Faustian bargains... Athletics provides a cautionary tale... The dangers of corporate-sponsored research are even greater."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Barron's "Bok realizes that there are times when allowing a business to provide funding for research or clothing for an athletic team is critical to a particular college's survival, but the trend of marketing various aspects of higher education is becoming more prevalent. This book is Bok's way of sounding the alarm for universities to analyze their practices critically."--Library Journal "A humane and beautifully crafted book. Bok believes that the intrusion of the marketplace into the university is eroding fundamental academic values, and that we must act now to halt this decline... [A] thoughtful and thought-provoking book."--Jeremy Gunawardena, Nature "This is a good and needed book... Bok strives for balance. He tries to puncture both the dangers to academe raised by its purists and the promises of easy money made by mortarboard Babbitts. He calls for new scrutiny of financial relationships between university researchers and companies. He [worries that] ... corporate cash, fed slowly but in rising and addictive doses, will become the force behind what is discovered and what is ignored and even suppressed."--Ned Barnett, Raleigh News & Observer "Bok shows that he knows his subject well and that he has done his homework. Moreover, he marshals the relevant facts with an even hand and unsparing candor... One can only hope that his book will help the public understand what is at stake and will generate support for the needed reforms. Derek Bok has sounded a warning that ought to be heeded."--Arnold S. Relman, New England Journal of Medicine "Bok is sensibly, judiciously and presidentially concerned. He puts the commercialization of the university into the same frame as big-time intercollegiate sport: both are unambiguous distractions from what universities are properly supposed to be about."--Steven Shapin, London Review of Books "A thoughtful, clear-eyed inquiry into the impact of commercialization on the university's fundamental missions of education and research."--Daniel J. Kevles, American Scientist "Bok is a retired President of Harvard, who was Dean of Harvard Law School before becoming President, and has been a distinguished professor in the Kennedy School of Government in his retirement. Harvard's endowment is worth something around $20 billion, so Professor Bok's views on money in higher education carry a certain weight. Bok provides a measured account of what goes wrong when too much of what a university does is seen to be up for sale--but not so measured that the point is lost or the lesson muffled... Bok's patient attention to useful policies that each university can institute on its own--forbidding coaches to lean on professors for better grades, putting gin place policies about disclosure that commercial sponsors must sign up to--is the sort of thing that is needed."--Alan Ryan, Times Literary Supplement "[An] excellent and beautifully written book."--Gordon Johnson, Times Higher Education Supplement "Informed, concise, readable, temperate yet sounding necessary alarms."--Change
Series: The William G. Bowen Memorial Series in Higher Education
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 15th November 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.8 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.37