Calendar of Events

Fall 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011
Daniel Kleinman
Uneven Commercialization: Contradiction and Conflict in the Identity and Practices of American Universities
3:30 pm Curtin 118

How and to what extent is higher education in the United States becoming commercialized?

Daniel Kleinman argues that widespread claims about the commercialization of higher education are overbroad. For example, although much scholarship on the topic is based on limited data, it still makes arguments about a growing, steamroller-like process of commercialization. And although the scholarship is typically synchronic, it makes assertions about change over time. Moreover, authors’ contentions often prove to be anecdotal, rather than systematic or systemic.

Kleinman uses a mixture of close and distant readings of academic leadership publications to paint a picture of the commercialization of U.S. higher education as a complicated, uneven, contradictory, and multifaceted process. He focuses on two measures of commercialization—the treatment of students as consumers and the use of strategic planning by academic administrators—and suggests that the extent to which commercial identities and practices are viewed as legitimate varies across time, by institutional type, and by an actor’s social position.

Brown bag lunch with Daniel Kleinman
Friday, December 2
12 noon Curtin 939

Recommended background reading for lecture and lunch: Daniel Lee Kleinman, "The Commercialization of Academic Culture and the Future of the University," in The Commodification of Academic Research: Analyses, Assessments, Alternatives, ed. Hans Redder (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010).


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