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

Why can a tenured faculty member be fired?

One of the most commons misconceptions about tenure is that you can’t fire a tenured faculty member. The reality is that tenured faculty can and do get fired with some regularity. The difference is that tenure provides for detailed and often complicated due process procedures to protect tenured faculty from dismissal without appropriate cause. In today’s post, I want to answer the question of why can a tenured faculty member be fired by describing the four specific reasons that a tenured faculty member can be removed from an institution.

Photo credit: Amherst College

Why Dropbox is the most important tool for an academic

When it comes to backing up our computer files, we all know we should be doing it.  But let’s be honest, many of us don’t.  For several years now, I have been using Dropbox and it is the most important tool on my computer.  I use it for saving all my documents and files.  There are many reasons why you should too.

Photo credit: Flickr Marc Smith

If you aren’t familiar with Dropbox, it is an online (in the cloud) file storage system.  You can save documents, photos, videos, or any file to your account.  You can access the files on a Mac, PC, or through their online portal.  Of all of the features that Dropbox offers, there are at least four that I believe you will find most useful. 

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.

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