Changing Currents in Education and Public Life
Edited by Lynn Book and David Phillips
Chapter 2: Academic intellectual entrepreneurs: Interdisciplinary innovation in university settings
I identify Academic Intellectual Entrepreneurs (AIEs) as creative university faculty who cross intellectual and often organizational boundaries to create a product broadly conceived: high-impact research, teaching and service. Academics, like entrepreneurs, are expected to manifest expansive vision, fresh perception, creativity and persistence in exploring and developing opportunities in a process of continuous learning. However, while academic learning can be theoretical and text-based, entrepreneurs learn from experience, take risks and grow from mistakes. Traditional faculty are expected to publish but are not held responsible for the impact of their words. They are expected to teach, but the onus of learning is on students. Economic, social and intellectual entrepreneurs develop products that must interact with people’s experiences to bring about change. AIEs embody a commitment to usefulness in their scholarship, teaching and service. They are animators, working with others to give life to an idea that is useful and transformative.
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