Research in Higher Education

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 739–760 | Cite as

Faculty Entrepreneurialism and the Challenge to Undergraduate Education at Research Universities

  • Jenny J. Lee
  • Robert A. Rhoads


This study attempts to unravel the complex relationships between faculty entrepreneurialism and teaching. Specifically, this study (1) compares the extent of entrepreneurial activities (i.e., using funds for research and consulting activity) across disciplinary fields and levels of teaching commitment and (2) examines the relative effects of faculty entrepreneurialism on commitment to teaching. Using a national database of four-year college faculty, research findings demonstrate variations of teaching commitment with respect to disciplinary fields and forms of entrepreneurial activities. More important, this study reveals rather strong negative relationships between using funds for research and teaching commitment. Such findings have important implications for policy makers, administrative leaders, and university faculty as they seek to balance the institution's instructional mission in light of the increasing trend toward entrepreneurialism.

college faculty entrepreneurialism teaching research universities faculty research faculty work academic labor undergraduate education 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altbach, P. G.(2001, May 11). Why higher education is not a global commodity. The Chronicle of Higher Education 47(35):B20.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, M. S.(2001). The complex relations between the academy and industry:View from the literature. Journal of Higher Education 72(2): 226–246.Google Scholar
  3. Astin, A. W.(2001). The Theory and Practice of Institutional Transformation in Higher Education. Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  4. Bartlett, J. W.(1988). Joint ventures with industry:Now a days, some of the big men off campus are partners in powerful university R & D. High Technology Business8(11): 30–33.Google Scholar
  5. Basinger, J.(2001). College presidents urged to nurture relationships with businesses. The Chronicle of Higher Education A26, June 22.Google Scholar
  6. Becher, T.(1989). Academic Tribes and Territories:Intellectual Enquiry and the Cultures of the Disciplines. Open University Press, Bristol, PA.Google Scholar
  7. Bekelman, J. E., Li, Y., and Gross Cary, P.(2003). Scope and impact of nancial conflicts of interest in biomedical research. The Journal of the American Medical Association 289(4):454–465.Google Scholar
  8. Benjamin, E.(1995). A faculty response to the scal crisis: From defense to offense. In: BérubéM., and Nelson, C.(eds.), Higher Education Under Fire:Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities, New York, Routledge, pp. 52–72.Google Scholar
  9. Bérubé, M., and Nelson, C.(eds.)(1995). Higher Education Under Fire:Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities. Routledge, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Biglan, A.(1973). The characteristics of subject matter in different academic areas. Journal of Applied Psychology 57:195–203.Google Scholar
  11. Bird, B. J., and Allen, D. N.(1989). Faculty entrepreneurship in research university environments. The Journal of Higher Education 60(5):583–596.Google Scholar
  12. Blumenstyk, G.(2002, May 17). Universities try to keep inventions from going 'out the back door'. The Chronicle of Higher Education 48(36):A33–A34.Google Scholar
  13. Blumenthal, D., Campbell, E. G., Causino, N., and Louis, K. S.(1997). Participation of life-science faculty in research relationships with industry. The New England Journal of Medicine 335(23):1734–1739.Google Scholar
  14. Boyer, E.(1990). Scholarship Reconsidered:Priorities of the Professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  15. Boyer, C. M., and Lewis, D. R.(1985). Maintaining faculty through outside professional consulting. In: Clark, S. M., and Lewis, D. R.(eds.), Faculty Vitality and Institutional Productivity:Critical Perspectives for Higher Education. Teachers College Press, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Braxton, J. M. and Hargens, L. L.(1996). Variation among academic disciplines: Analytic frameworks and research. In: Smart J. C.(ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. 11)Agathon Press, New York, pp. 1–46.Google Scholar
  17. Breneman, D. W.(1993). Higher Education:On a Collision Course With New Realities. Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  18. Campbell, E. G., Louis, K. S., and Blumenthal, D.(1998). Looking a gift horse in the mouth:Corporate gifts supporting life sciences research. The Journal of the American Medical Association 279(13):995–1010.Google Scholar
  19. Campbell, T. I. D., and Slaughter, S.(1999). Faculty and administrators' attitudes toward potential conflicts of interest, commitment, and equity in university–industry relationships. The Journal of Higher Education 70(3):309–352.Google Scholar
  20. Clark, B. R.(1987). The Academic Life:Small Worlds, Different Worlds. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ. ai[Fairweather, J.(1988). Entrepreneurship and higher education:Lessons for colleges, universities, and industry. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 6. Association for the Study of Higher Education, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  21. Fairweather, J.(1989). Academic research and instruction: The industrial connection. Journal of Higher Education 60(4):388–407.Google Scholar
  22. Fairweather, J.(1996). Faculty Work and Public Trust:Restoring the Value of Teaching and Public Service in American Academic Life. Allyn and Bacon, Boston.Google Scholar
  23. Fairweather, J.(2002). The mythologies of faculty productivity:Implications for institutional policy and decision making. The Journal of Higher Education 73(1): 26–48.Google Scholar
  24. Francis, J. G., and Hampton, M. C.(1999). Resourceful responses:The adaptive research university and the drive to market. The Journal of Higher Education 70(6): 625–641.Google Scholar
  25. Geiger, R., and Feller, I.(1995). The dispersion of academic research in the 1980s. The Journal of Higher Education 66(3):336–360.Google Scholar
  26. Kennedy, D.(1997). Academic Duty. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  27. Kirschstein, R. J., Matheson, N., Jing, Z., and Zimber, L. J.(1997). Instructional Faculty and Sta. in Higher Education Institutions:Fall 1987–Fall 1992. National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC, NCES. 97–447.Google Scholar
  28. Ladd, E. C., and Lipset, S. M.(1975). The Divided Academy:Professors and Politics. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Leslie, D. W.(2002). Resolving the dispute: Teaching is academe' s core value. The Journal of Higher Education. 73(3):49–73.Google Scholar
  30. Lee, Jenny, J.(2004). Comparing Institutional Relationships with Academic Departments: A Study of Five Academic Fields. Research in Higher Education 45(6):603–624.Google Scholar
  31. Lindholm, J. A., Astin, A. W., Sax, L. J., and Korn, W. S.(2002). The American College Teacher:National Norms for the 2001–2002 HERI Faculty Survey. Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  32. Marsh, H. W. and Dillon, K. E.(1980). Academic productivity and supplemental income. Journal of Higher Education 51(5):546–555.Google Scholar
  33. Nelson, C., and Bérubé, M.(1995). Introduction:A report from the front. In:Bérubé M., and Nelson C.(eds.), Higher Education Under Fire:Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities, Routledge, New York, pp. 1–32.Google Scholar
  34. Perna, L. W.(2002). Sex differences in the supplemental earnings of college and university faculty. Research in Higher Education 43:31–58.Google Scholar
  35. Powers, J. B.(2003). Commercializing academic research:Resource effects on performance of university technology transfer. The Journal of Higher Education. 74(1): 26–50.Google Scholar
  36. Pulley, J.(2002, June 21). Well off and weary:Even small, wealthy private colleges likeOberlin are feeling the economic pinch. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle. com/prm/weekly/v48/i41/41a02701. htm.Google Scholar
  37. Resnik, B.(1996). The corporate responsibility for basic research. Business and Society Review. 96:57–60.Google Scholar
  38. Rhoads, R. A.(2003). Globalization and resistance in the United States and Mexico: The global Potemkin village. Higher Education 45:223–250.Google Scholar
  39. Ruark, J.(2002, December). California governor proposes large new cuts for public colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education. December 9, Retrieved from http://chronicle. com/daily/2002/12/2002120901n. htm).Google Scholar
  40. Schmidt P.(2002, March 29). States push public universities to commercialize research. The Chronicle of Higher Education 48(29):A26–A27.Google Scholar
  41. Selingo, J.(2002, April 19). States with the biggest de cits take aim at higher education. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle. com/prm/weekly/v48/i32/32a02401. htm.Google Scholar
  42. Slaughter, S.(1990). The Higher Learning and High Technology:Dynamics of Higher Education Policy Formation. SUNY Press, Albany, NY.Google Scholar
  43. Slaughter, S., and Leslie, L.(1997). Academic Capitalism:Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  44. Smart, J. C., Feldman, K. A. and Ethingon, C. A.(2000). Academic Disciplines: Holland' s Theory and the Study of College Students and Faculty. Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville.Google Scholar
  45. Smart, J. C., and McLaughlin, G. W.(1978). Reward structures of academic disciplines. Research in Higher Education 8:39–55.Google Scholar
  46. Stiger, S. M.(1993). Competition and the research universities. Daedalus 122(4):157–178.Google Scholar
  47. Tierney, W. G.(ed.)(1998). The Responsive University:Restructuring for High Peformance. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  48. Tierney, W. G.(1999). Building the Responsive Campus:Creating High Performance Colleges and Universities. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  49. Tornquist, K. M. and Kallsen, L. A.(1994). Out of the ivory tower:Characteristics of institutions meeting the research needs of industry. The Journal of Higher Education65(5):523–539.Google Scholar
  50. Van Der Werf, M.(2002, March 1). Recession and reality set in at private colleges. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle. com/prm/weekly/v48/i25/25a02601. htm.Google Scholar
  51. Volk, C. S., Slaughter, S. and Thomas, S. L.(2001). Models of institutional resource allocation mission, market, and gender. The Journal of Higher Education 72(4):387–401.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny J. Lee
    • 1
  • Robert A. Rhoads
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Higher EducationUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Education & Information StudiesUCLALos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations