University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education [NOOK Book]


Jennifer Washburn, a scholar and journalist, reveals how the growing influence of corporations over universities compromises the future of all those whose careers depend on a university education, and all those who will be employed, governed, or taught by the products of American universities.
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University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education

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Jennifer Washburn, a scholar and journalist, reveals how the growing influence of corporations over universities compromises the future of all those whose careers depend on a university education, and all those who will be employed, governed, or taught by the products of American universities.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Intellectual property, developed in the biology and electronics labs of our great universities, is being methodically transferred to industry, reports independent scholar and journalist Washburn. For the past two decades or so, she argues in her first book, institutions of higher learning have sold out the public weal for private wealth. The sciences, generally sponsored by big business, do quite well while the humanities lose in scholastic budget battles. It's not Chaucer who pays the bills. On campus, research comes before science teaching; targeted study supports corporate needs; proprietary and secret investigations are replacing platform research and shared information. Supported by federal legislation, researchers simultaneously serve two masters: their educational institutions and the mighty corporate sponsors that fund their studies. These researchers frequently have personal financial interests in the results of their often-tainted science. In exchange for cash, stock, and corporate titles, the sponsors retain important rights in the studies, including control of journal reports. Big money is involved, and no one should be surprised that virtually every college, from mighty Ivy League to little land-grant school, boasts its own active technology-transfer office, eager to provide facilities and contracts. Beside ghostwritten reports and bad mentoring, the results may include flawed protocols and fatally mistreated human test subjects. The free marketplace of information, the historic core of science, is going out of business. Instead, short-term aims clothed in proprietary secrecy are on sale (for considerable fees) with an academic imprimatur. Chaucer gives way to computerprograms and the demands of genome manipulation. Taxpayer-funded studies are subject to license fees, instead of being freely shared. While Washburn doesn't suggest that the IRS investigate the unrelated business income of tax-exempt institutions, she does advocate specific corrective actions along the lines of improved legislation and third-party oversight. A heartfelt, well-documented expose of a major rip-off that debases education in several important ways. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786722389
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • File size: 908 KB

Meet the Author

Jennifer Washburn is currently a Fellow at the New America Foundation. Formerly a Fellow at the Open Society Institute and a senior research associate for the Arms Trade Resource Center of the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research Washburn writes for The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Lingua Franca, the American Prospect, and other national magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A New Kind of Uprising at Berkeley
Chapter 2: The Lessons of History
Chapter 3: The Birth of the Market-Model U.
Chapter 4: The Republic of Science in Turmoil
Chapter 5: Are Conflicts of Interest Hazardous to Our Health?
Chapter 6: The University as Business
Chapter 7: Dreaming of Silicon Valley
Chapter 8: Paying More for Less: The Commercial Squeeze on Teaching & the Humanities
Chapter 9: The Path Forward: Protecting Our Public Patrimony
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Analysis of disturbing trends in American higher education

    Jennifer Washburn¿s investigation inside U.S. universities is disturbing. She paints a portrait of colleges that have forgotten their primary mission and societal role. That is upsetting enough for readers who cherish fond memories of free-thinking college days, but its implications reach far wider. She cites restraints on free inquiry and free speech that should alarm civil libertarians. Her reports of far-reaching attempts to generate profit through patents and technology transfers should concern businesspeople. The most perturbing element of Washburn¿s analysis covers how drug and medical trials have changed, as their control has shifted from the impartial hand of traditional science to the vested authority of pharmaceutical companies. She even implies that anyone using a drug developed in such trials is at risk. The issues in higher education are so sweeping that, at times, Washburn¿s treatment is more a foreboding sketch than a complete analysis. That aside, We recommend it to anyone interested in a well-articulated, strong point of view about higher education, or anyone who follows the issues involved in having a well-functioning civic society, including quality higher education.

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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    Posted June 6, 2011

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