Category Archives: Academia

History of Princeton University

Here are two videos on Princeton University: one is a short documentary on the history of the university and the other is a short film from 1962 aimed at undergraduate students.

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Six buildings that shaped Harvard history

Just a short video on a little Harvard history.

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September 25, 2013 · 12:47 pm

“Bildung” – The Cultural Underpinnings of the Modern Research University

The debate about the future of the university has traditionally been formulated as a dichotomous battle between “idealists”,  or self-protecting groups of “research freedom”-loving academics, who fight under the flag of Humboldtian values, and the “market”-oriented policy makers and reform minded people, who fight with entrepreneurial spirit and Schumpeterian wit.  And of course there are the disruptive innovators, say a Khan Academy, or MOOCs, who provide new ideas, new prospects, but also raise the overall entropy of the already chaotic educational system. In all, never has been the educational scene more turbulent and more diverse. It is both an exciting and a daunting time for those who are at the helm of universities.

I have always loved the middle ground though. I am an ally of innovation and market-oriented participation, yet I think it worth some time to slow down from time to time and explore some of the underlying values and cultural underpinnings.

I have been reading this interesting book on the concept of self-cultivation or ‘bildung’ which can be said to be one of the foundational concepts of the German University, and thus the modern research university (though there are some contending voices whether the ‘role model’ assumption holds).

 

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Managing the business school: voices of business school deans (RMIMR blog)

Some useful thoughts on navigating a business school through turbulent times from the RMIMR blog: Taking the reins as a business school dean; challenge for business schools is to build curricula and supportive programs that account for current and future business landscapes.

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Recipe for novelty: academia, venture capital and business blended together

A great book from John Padgett and Walter W. Powell about how new organizational forms emerge. They gathered cases and research from their extensive research careers together with new cases and work from other researchers.

The famous research of Florentine historical family networks by John Padgett is now seamlessly tied into the theoretical lessons learnt from the new academic biotechnology venturing and bio-pharmaceutical business clusters in the U.S.

To understand how new markets and business clusters emerge, and how new institutional forms take off, it is  a good idea to take a look at this book. I really loved the lecture about the book; there were many small details that makes the whole story vivid and useful.

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