What’s So Radical about Defending Public Education?

Martin Kich gives a great overview of some of the problems caused by the corporatization of public higher education.


Being antagonistic to corporatization should not necessarily be conflated with being broadly antagonistic to corporations. Universities and corporations have long had mutually beneficial relationships that have caused relatively infrequent controversies. And, just to be clear, although some faculty with more progressive political values have been very skeptical of those relationships between their universities and corporate interests, very, very few faculty have been categorically opposed to the development of such relationships because, for the most part, they have clearly been mutually beneficial.

Corporatization, on the other hand, is the recent manifestation of a historically recurring attempt to redefine public higher education as a business enterprise. In the 1980s, it started with the premise that universities had become such complex institutions, with very large budgets and multifaceted operations, that they would benefit from the adoption of more formal, and perhaps some cutting-edge, business-management practices. American corporations were beginning to respond to post-industrial…

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