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Paying the Piper: Higher Education Financing and Academic Freedom

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2013

John Mark Hansen*
University of Chicago


The university occupies a peculiar space in democratic societies with market economies. Higher education serves the cause of democracy by fostering a more able and enlightened citizenry and the needs of the economy by producing a more skilled and creative workforce. The university likewise depends on the state and the market for its resources, for the tuitions, the grants, the contracts, the licenses, the royalties, and the gifts that are the lifeblood of every institution of higher learning.

The Profession Symposium: A Symposium on “The Troubled Future of Colleges and Universities”
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2013

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1 For an indication of the timelessness of the challenges to the university, see Henry Rosovsky, The University: An Owner's Manual (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990).

2 Cf Raymond A. Bauer, Ithiel de Sola Pool, and Lewis Anthony Dexter, American Business and Public Policy: The Politics of Foreign Trade (New York: Atherton Press, 1963).

3 Put differently, the university has ways to influence the processes of “partisan mutual adjustment.” See Charles E. Lindblom, The Intelligence of Democracy: Decision Making through Mutual Adjustment (New York: Free Press, 1965).

4 Note the careful use of the plural and the singular. The main point of the Kalven Report is that the university cannot speak in one voice—nor should it. It would not be a university if it did. The Kalven Report is available on the University of Chicago's website at

5 Which is why they are used so often by elected officials. See John W. Kingdon, Congressmen's Voting Decisions (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), and Richard F. Fenno Jr., Home Style: House Members in Their Districts (Boston: Little, Brown, 1978).