“Hire” Education

I have worked in educational circles enough to take notice of the role that business sometimes plays. Observe, in this material from Noll, all the names which we now mostly associate with “higher” education:

Funding for the new universities was coming …. with many more strings attached… from the nation’s new class of fabulously wealthy entrepreneurs. Ezra Cornell (telegraph, banking), Johns Hopkins (banking, railroads), Cornelius Vanderbuilt (steamships, railroads), Leland Stanford (raliroads), James Duke (tobacco), and John D. Rockefeller (oil)[who contributed massive funds to the University of Chicago]…. These entrepreneurs were not paying for moral uplift but for the means to advance a vision of the good life that increasingly stressed the powers of free choice and the pleasures of personal consumption…. As money from businessmen increased, so also did the concern that boards of trustees and college administrators function in a businesslike way. So it was that businessmen replaced clergymen as trustees, and professional educators replaced ministers as presidents.

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago


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