Academic Entrepeneurship Quote of the Day

From T. W. Schultz, in his 1979 Kaldor Memorial Lecture, “Concept of Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Research”:

Within our universities, academic entrepreneurship is much more important than we realize. Show me a university that allocates its resources in a purely routine manner over any extended period and I will show you that that university is on a declining path. Presidents, deans, and directors of research are obviously academic entrepreneurs. So are heads of departments who are worthwhile having. Nor do I exclude the teaching and research functions of the faculty. The stock of knowledge and the theoretical opportunities in research are not fixed once and for all. Routine teachers are a liability and routine research workers, which contradicts the meaning of research, if nevertheless there are such, they are failures. Not least is the fact that consumption opportunities are also changing, and inasmuch as pure consumption also entails time, here too people are reallocating their own time in response to changing opportunities.

The thrust of my argument thus far is that over our respective life cycles all of us, as well as everybody else, given our dynamic society with special reference to the economy, is an entrepreneur. Whether a person is bad or good in performing this function is quite another matter.

For more on Schultz see this 2006 article by Mike Cook and myself.


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