University administrators, agricultural biotechnology, and academic capitalism: Defining the public good to promote university-industry relationships

Leland L. Glenna, William B. Lacy, Rick Welsh, Dina Biscotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-163
Number of pages23
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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