Academic Values and the Lure of Profit

Derek Bok, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Apr 01, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Though the one paragraph in this article about online learning looks like it was added a an afterthought, the author's main point remains valid and applicable here as well. Universities' efforts to commercialize, argues the author, through such means as sports teams and research patents, have generally been unsuccessful. Moreover, the drive to commercialize has led universities to compromise their values, academically and otherwise. I think the author should have used a real case, rather than a fictitious account from a Le Carré novel, to dramatize the way corporate partnerships can corrupt research. Real cases certainly exist. But talking about them probably raises the fear of litigation.
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