ABSTRACT

Academic capitalism is an outgrowth of the neoliberal market-based philosophy aggressively developed in the right-wing of the US ruling elite since the 1970s. This chapter highlights key themes in the unremitting advance of academic capitalism in higher education. A major, concerning trend in public higher education is the tendency for politicized appointments of wealthy business donors to positions of considerable authority in college board of trustees governance. Public universities can experience pressures from conservative legislatures or boards of trustees to select presidents from outside academe-such as Tim Wolfe, a 20-year IBM executive hired by the Board of Curators as president of the University of Missouri system in 2012. Additionally, considering all public university presidents, we find that, on average, they make 4.4 times that of the average faculty member-with a number of outliers such as Jeffrey Gold, chancellor of the University of Nebraska, whose salary was 10.1 times higher.