Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education by Derek BokUniversities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education by Derek Bok

Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education

byDerek Bok

Paperback | December 5, 2004

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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.

Derek Bok is the 300th Anniversary University Professor and Faculty Chair of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. He was formerly President of Harvard University and Dean of the Harvard Law School. His numerous books include The Shape of the River (Princeton, 1998, with William G. Bowen) and The Trouble...
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Title:Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher EducationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pagesPublished:December 5, 2004Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691120129

ISBN - 13:9780691120126

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Table of Contents


  • FrontMatter,pg. i
  • Contents,pg. v
  • Preface,pg. vii
  • 1. The Roots Of Commercialization,pg. 1
  • 2. Avoiding Bias,pg. 18
  • 3. Athletics,pg. 35
  • 4. Scientific Research,pg. 57
  • 5. Education,pg. 79
  • 6. The Benefits And Costs Of Commercialization,pg. 99
  • 7. Reforming Athletics,pg. 122
  • 8. Protecting The Integrity Of Research,pg. 139
  • 9. Preserving Educational Values,pg. 157
  • 10. Living Up To The Rules,pg. 185
  • 11. Seizing The Moment,pg. 199
  • Notes,pg. 209
  • Index,pg. 227



Editorial Reviews

"Universities in the Marketplace is quite a successful book that breaks valuable new ground. Derek Bok's calmly reasoned voice contrasts favorably with the hyperbole that surrounds many such discussions. The writing is so clear and the arguments so reasonable that it is easy to overlook the author's effortless command of the relevant literature and his well-judged historical treatment of his subjects. No other book is both so comprehensive and so accessible."-Michael McPherson, President, Macalaster College