How would you like to be part of a university program where every faculty position is an endowed chair--all four of them? Some call it Sam's School of Ed Reform, some call it the Walmart School for Ed Privatization, but Jay Greene of the sludge tank, the Manhattan Institute, now calls it home. Does any other university education program have an "Endowed Chair in School Choice?" Well, that's what $320,000,000 will get you, or at least that's what it got the Walton family at Arkansas's flagship state university in Fayetteville.
Now we see from this New York Times piece and this Inside Higher Ed piece that BMW is investing big time in Clemson University's engineering programs. In return, BMW gets to have input in university decision-making, decisions ranging from architectural considerations to determining faculty hiring lists.
Spellings and Miller must be proud of this proactive corporatizing of American public universities. With pressures mounting from Miller's Commission to hold down tuition increases and with increasing competition for public moneys, we can probably count on more of this kind of desperate public auctioning of academic integrity and autonomy.