chapter  7
18 Pages

Ethical Challenges and the Aspirational University: Fund- Raising and Spectator Sports


As Americans have come to understand higher education in terms of gains for individuals and contributions to local economic development, as opposed to solely the advancement and dissemination of knowledge for the overall good of society, universities and colleges are increasingly seeking resources in new markets and viewing outputs as commodities. Having embraced the neo-liberal conception of the university, they are de-emphasizing their traditional academic core in favor of seeing revenues at their more agile peripheries; expanding management capacity and the inuence of managers; and restructuring the composition of the faculty to lower instructional costs. In addition to seeking eciencies and revenues, they are also making signicant investments: subsidizing researchers (who themselves are increasingly focused upon individual gain); aggressively recruiting accomplished students; and obsessing over essentially meaningless measures, such as those associated with rankings (Bok 2002; Kirp 2004; Slaughter and Rhoades 2004). As a result, institutions are less able to control spending and have become more expensive (Ehrenberg 2002; Geiger 2004; Zemsky, Wegner, & Massy 2005).