Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered

By Robert Zemsky; Gregory R. Wegner et al. | Go to book overview

4
On Being
Mission-Centered
and Market-Smart

Our argument that colleges and universities ought to be mission-centered and market-smart will surprise no one who has followed our work throughout the past two decades. We can also report that few presidents or provosts are troubled by the juxtaposition of mission and market, no doubt because they spend so much of their time striving to balance the traditions of the academy against the demands of the market.

Those who are discomforted—and in some cases offended—by linking academic and commercial pursuits are principally faculty, particularly those whose scholarly pursuits are centered in the humanities. They are the ones most likely to see in their institutions’ pursuit of market opportunities a future that can only undermine the traditional values of the academy.

To be sure, not all faculty are similarly discontented. Academic entrepreneurs across most campuses readily embrace the market, often with little regard to how market initiatives square with the dictates of either mission or tradition. They are often the first targets of the traditionalists’ scorn that, from the perspective of the entrepreneur, too easily translates into opposition against every proposal to launch a new venture.

What both sides can usually agree upon, except when the humanists have really dug in their heels, is that markets are becoming evermore important—so important, in fact, that today they compete with

-51-

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Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Introduction- the Diminishing of Public Purpose 1
  • 2 - The Lattice and the Ratchet 15
  • 3 - The Admissions Arms Race 32
  • 4 - On Being Mission-Centered and Market-Smart 51
  • 5 - To Publish and Perish 69
  • 6 - A Value Proposition 86
  • 7 - Thwarted Innovation 101
  • 8 - Who Owns Teaching? 123
  • 9 - Making Educational Quality Job One 139
  • 10 - Not Good Enough 161
  • 11 - Crafting a Public Agenda 180
  • 12 - Dancing with Change 198
  • References 219
  • Index 223
  • About the Authors 233
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