The theory of academic capitalism explains how federal, state, and university policies and people have expanded university-industry relationships (UIRs) and the commercialization of knowledge. These changes represent a profound shift in the way university research is expected, to contribute to the public good. Because university administrators are responsible for creating organizational policies and infrastructures that are consistent with their organizational mission and. with federal and state laws, it is critical to analyze how university administrators assess UIRs in relation to public-interest scientific research. Our in-depth interviews at six prominent land-grant universities with 59 key administrators having oversight responsibilities for agricultural biotechnology research programs and UIRs reveal how administrators justify their role in promoting UIRs. They tend to interpret their university's mission to contribute to the public good in a way that is conducive to encouraging UIRs and to commercializing research discoveries. Their rationale emerges within a context of having to justify their budgets to state governments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science