Title page for ETD etd-11162006-135027

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zewe, Charles F.
Author's Email Address czewe@lsu.edu
URN etd-11162006-135027
Title Communicating the Modern Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century: A Case Study of Academic Capitalism and Media Messaging in the Pursuit of Revenues and National Prominence at Louisiana State University.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ralph Izard Committee Chair
Jack Hamilton Committee Member
Kirby Goidel Committee Member
Richard Nelson Committee Member
Katherine Benton-Cohen Dean's Representative
  • Entrepreneurial
  • communication
  • university
  • LSU
  • knowledge creation theory
  • image
  • poll
  • resource dependence theory
Date of Defense 2006-10-27
Availability unrestricted
American public universities have passed through three stages of development: the religious, the philanthropic/land-grant, and the federal research university. Squeezed by government budget cuts and demands for more money to pay for research and faculty raises, U.S. higher education has entered a fourth phase, the entrepreneurial university. Public universities are increasingly capitalizing on the intellectual property of their faculty and students to sustain themselves and expand. Administrators spout free-market rhetoric as faculty attempt to commercialize research by creating spin-off companies. Using Louisiana State University as a case study, this dissertation, applies a combination of organizational knowledge creation and resource dependence theories to analyze the emergence of academic entrepreneurialism. This study also assesses LSUís capitalistic effectiveness against models of entrepreneurial development used by other U.S. colleges and frames entrepreneurial communication within the context of the stateís political environment, state budget cuts, and tuition waivers awarded to academically superior undergraduates. LSU messaging is compared to other peer public universities and scrutinized within the framework of results from a national public opinion survey on LSUís image. Results suggest strong support for the concept of university entrepreneurialism, but indicate the American public, aside from athletics, doesnít know much about LSU academics or research. Testing of LSU-related messages, meanwhile, advances themes that resonate among respondents and provide potential communication paths for increasing LSUís national academic prominence and entrepreneurial success.
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