THE NEW UNIVERSITY SUB-CULTURE, a brief Op-Ed

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JP-pic 2Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor, The Business Thinker; Founder and former CEO JPIndustries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation. CV Click here

The changes in culture, markets, and technologies experienced by manufacturing has had a rippling effect into to those institutions charged by societies with the integration of new knowledge.  

As we move on further into the 21st century, if we look closely at our university systems we will see that they have, in effect, “reinvented” themselves. Universities are  coming to terms in a very proactive sense, with the whole problem of technology change, technology transfer, and the rapid commercialization of technology into useful products and processes.

One way in which this is manifesting itself is the ever increasing exchanges of money, people, and ideas between the university and the industrial sector.

This increased level of university-industry relationships has had a major impact on both the sub-culture of industry research and development, as well as the sub-culture of university research.

University-based researchers are seeing new areas of productive inquiry more closely tied to the experienced problems of the manufacturing environment.  

In turn, industrial research and development staff are seeing much more rapidly, the opportunities to leverage state-of-the-art research into changes in their core business technologies.

At an organizational level, universities are, more and more, perceiving themselves not merely as an outpost of knowledge creation, but also as an engine for economic and societal development.

Obviously, many participants in the university subculture are not of a like mind with these changes. As we move further in the 21st century, we will see an increasing level of internal debate, perhaps strife, as academic institutions come to terms with these changes.

There will be much scrutiny of their incentive systems, rewards, and organizational missions and goals.

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