(p. B2) “Today’s students are hungry to make an impact, and we have to be responsive,” said Gordon Jones, the dean of a new College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University in Idaho and the former director of Harvard’s Innovation Lab.
Yet campus entrepreneurship fever is encountering skepticism among some academics, who say that start-up programs can lack rigor and a moral backbone.
Even a few entrepreneurship educators say that some colleges and universities are simply parroting an “innovate and disrupt” Silicon Valley mind-set and promoting narrow skill sets — like how to interview potential customers or pitch to possible investors — without encouraging students to tackle more complex problems.
“A lot of these universities want to get in the game and serve this up because it’s hot,” Mr. Jones said. “The ones that are doing it right are investing in resources that are of high caliber and equipping students to tackle problems of importance.”
. . .
. . . the quick start-up workshops offered on some campuses can seem at odds with the traditional premise of liberal arts schools to educate deliberative, critical thinkers.
“Real innovation is rooted in knowledge and durable concern and interest, not just ‘I thought of something that nobody ever thought of before,'” said Jonathan Jacobs, who writes frequently about liberal education and is the chairman of the philosophy department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York. “That’s not educating people, frankly.”
And at least a few professors of entrepreneurship say that some universities are not ensuring that students learn the fundamentals of starting, running and sustaining a business.
For the full story, see:
NATASHA SINGER. “Colleges Rush to Embolden Entrepreneurs.” The New York Times (Tues., DEC. 29, 2015): A1 & B2 (sic).
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date DEC. 28, 2015, and has the title “Universities Race to Nurture Start-Up Founders of the Future.”)