More on the Corporatization of American Universities

And see this.

Living in a university town (Bloomington Indiana, home of Indiana University), surrounded by students who drag around lifelong debt, watching gigantic limestone faced buildings go up — the latest, Global Research and International Studies (hmmm. . . I wonder: which corporate name will be added to the name of this building, Eli Lilly? That would figure, since it’s headquartered in Indianapolis) —

International-Studies-webI find this post by Noam Chomsky, a talk given to university adjuncts, instructive:

Chomsky: How America’s Great University System Is Being Destroyed
Faculty are increasingly hired on the Walmart model as temps.

Chomsky doesn’t talk about how corporate grants influence research, may even dictate it. Here’s a report on how research on food production is financed:

Public Research, Private Gain

Corporate Influence over University Agricultural Research

One wonders how many other parts of the university are similarly directed and financed, through, if not grants, then, perhaps special “chairs,” programs, renaming schools after corporate CEOs, etc. Let’s guess.

Start with science and engineering departments — chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, and so on. Plus business, law, economics — these are obvious, their students groomed to become cogs in and/or to help “improve” the structure of the matrix; how about psychology, sociology, media studies, “infomatics” — all co-opted by military funding studies on various techniques and technologies of mind-control?

You get the picture.

The list is long. Is the corporatization of the university complete? Not if individuals within the university system wake up and stop eating from the hand that is, in fact, on a deep soul level, biting them.

In all my 12 years in this town, I am personally aware of only one professor who resigned, in her case over government use of plant research: Marti Crouch. I do hope there are others!

Here’s a recent interview with Marti, on WFHB, our plucky, long-running, local public radio station:


WFHB news: Brave New GMOs



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2 Responses to More on the Corporatization of American Universities

  1. Anonymous says:

    Some feel that the corporatization of the university can be traced to the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980.
    From a review of a book by Jennifer Washburn – University Inc.:
    “The Bayh-Dole Act gave universities title to federally funded inventions developed on campus, and encouraged schools to enter into exclusive contracts with big companies–especially but not limited to pharmaceutical giants and biotech firms–to develop and market those inventions.

    The idea was to facilitate the transfer of government funded research to the marketplace. Whether such transfer now takes place more effectively than it did under the prior regime–when federally funded inventions were made available on a non-exclusive basis–or than it would under other possible models, is anything but clear.

    In probably the best account of the corporatization of universities over the last quarter century, Washburn shows how academic science has been distorted and corrupted. Bayh-Dole and related changes altered the entire culture of academic science, so that there is much diminished emphasis on openness, sharing of information and collaboration, and much greater emphasis on secrecy, proprietary information and the bottom line. Professors especially in the biological sciences are deeply enmeshed in the corporate sector, through licensing, consulting and ownership arrangements that give them a financial stake in seeing products get to market (and that high prices are charged for them). Universities have reoriented themselves, as they enter into major corporate-sponsored research deals and embrace a proprietary mindset and seek to patent–and gain exclusive control over–as much knowledge as possible.”

    And unfortunately, Senator Birch Bayh was from Indiana.

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