Symposium on the Commercialization of Academia

Planning for a conference on commercialization in academia

Faculty at Emory University planned and convened a symposium in April 2002 to explore the potential benefits to academic institutions as they increasingly develop new commercial ventures, and the potential threats they face to their integrity and their academic mission.

Key Results

  • The conference, the "Commercialization of the Academy," was held April 5–7, 2002 at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. Some 150 people attended the conference, which was convened as part of the biennial Sam Nunn Bank of America Policy Forum.

  • The conference presentations addressed three key themes:

    • Within the university, should there be research and scholarship for profit?
    • How should trustee decisions affect the intellectual culture of the university?
    • What are the implicit and explicit costs of treating education as a commodity?
  • Presentations by 14 conference presenters were adapted and published in a book, Buying In or Selling Out? The Commercialization of the American Research University (Rutgers University Press, 2004).

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