The Role of the Research University in City Development

Higher education can play a vital role in supporting the social and economic development of cities. As part of an ongoing research project, I have been considering the unique role of higher education serving as an anchor institution in urban development. Along with my co-author Karri Holley, we recently published a case study exploring these dynamics in more detail. The article, “The 400-Pound Gorilla”: The Role of the Research University in City Development, was recently published in Innovative Higher Education. In today’s post, I share an excerpt from the paper that discusses the current research literature on higher education’s power and potential for city development.

Photo credit: MIT

What can we learn from USC medical school dean’s drug induced parties?

The story of former USC Medical School Dean Dr. Carmen Puliafito has to be one of the most salacious stories to hit higher education in recent years. In an explosive story in the Los Angeles Times, reporters detail Puliafito’s history of drug use and partying with prostitutes and criminals. How could an incredibly successful dean be wrapped up in something like this? How did he get away with it? In today’s post, I want to suggest what we can learn from USC medical school dean’s drug induced parties.

Former USC Dean Carmen Puliafito. Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

By many accounts, Dean Puliafito was enormously successful prior to his retirement after 10 years of leading the USC Keck School of Medicine. Puliafito personally helped raise $1 billion in gifts and led a school on the rise in the rankings. Keck brought in students, $200 million in research grants, and was a centerpiece of USC’s rise to national prominence.

However, there was more going on with Dean Puliafito. Much more in fact—so much so that they won’t be able to make a Lifetime movie about him because no one will find it believable!

The benefits of higher education for cities

Higher education institutions are valuable commodities for their cities. Since the very beginning of American higher education, cities have fought to have colleges and universities in their communities. The reasons for this are obvious– at least to some– as institutions bring a wealth of advantages and benefits to the areas where they are located. In today’s post, I want to share an interview that I did with WalletHub regarding the role of higher education, cities, and quality of life.

Photo credit: visitphilly.com

The daily work of college presidents

Most in higher education understand the complexity of the daily work of college presidents. College presidents must balance internal and external concerns and stakeholders. Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the long-awaited report, American College President Study 2017. The ACE president studies are the most comprehensive available and provide a wealth of insights into the presidency. In my third post in a series on the report (earlier posts considered demographics and the search process), I am going to consider the major findings of the ACE study and the implications for higher education. In today’s post, I will examine the daily work of college president to help provide background on the role of the president.

The daily work of college presidents

Arizona State President Michael Crow. Photo credit: azcentral.com

The presidential search process in higher education

The presidential search process can be a time of optimism for the institution or has the potential to bog down the college while waiting for a new leader. Unfortunately, we know very little about the presidential search process in higher education despite the growing challenges facing presidents today. Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the long-awaited report, American College President Study 2017. The ACE president studies are the most comprehensive available and provide a wealth of insights into the presidency. In a series of posts (the first post considered demographics), I am going to consider the major findings of the study and the implications for higher education. In today’s post, I will examine the college president search process in higher education to see what insights can be gained and additional research questions need to be considered.

The presidential search process in higher education

Installation of University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds. Photo credit: UNL