Chapter 4: University engagement and knowledge commercialization: an analysis of faculty attitudes
The ‘entrepreneurial turn’ of universities has a number of faces. Research universities are widely perceived to be important assets and actors in helping states and regions become and remain competitive in the globalized, knowledge-based economy. Indeed, the well-known, traditional tripartite mission of public research universities, of teaching, research, and public service, has now become a four-part mission with the addition of economic development. While state legislatures may use a subtle set of sticks and carrots for universities to become engaged in activities to promote economic development, there is also a sense of social responsibility by university officials and research faculty to be engaged in economic development, in exchange for the privileges and benefits they receive as both organizations and as individual researchers. At the same time, almost all research universities in the US, both public and private, have been motivated to become more involved in the commercialization of knowledge in order to diversify research funding sources, to more generally improve their revenue picture and endowments, and to retain and attract entrepreneurially inclined faculty and graduate students.
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