Commercial Intrusion into Academic Space

In their recent November-December Academe article, Jonathan Alan King, Ruth Perry, and Frederick P. Salvucci look into MIT’s decision to build commercial buildings on campus land and make the argument that institutions often put profit before students’ and researchers’ needs. Their article examines the ongoing debate over academic space on campus and talks about how we in college communities should define the use of campus space.

“Many US colleges and universities are experiencing increasing privatization of educational functions and activities on their campuses, including health services, food service, housing, building maintenance, and benefits administration. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, privatization has taken a somewhat different form: the use of the campus itself as a site for commercial real estate development.”

Note: A fuller discussion of this topic may be found in the November-December issue of Academe in “Commercial Intrusion into Academic Space” an essay by  Jonathan Alan King, Ruth Perry, and Frederick P. Salvucci 

One thought on “Commercial Intrusion into Academic Space

  1. MIT, at least, is a private university. Where is the outrage at public lands being used for such commercial purposes?

    New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo got an initiative passed that not only permits commercial enterprises to be newly installed near and even directly on SUNY (State University of New York) campuses throughout the state and also exempts them from all state taxes for ten years — including personal income taxes for the management and the employees of the commercial enterprise (who will be working alongside staff and faculty of SUNY on campus who must continue to pay their fair share).

    This was originally called “Tax-Free NY” but then renamed “Start-Up New York” to use the SUNY letters as its acroynm and downplay to the public the effect of a robbery from the state’s coffers of untold millions of much needed funds for Medicaid, etc.

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