Reaping What Bush Sowed?

49 Pages Posted: 31 May 2014

See all articles by Paula E. Stephan

Paula E. Stephan

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

I examine and document how the Endless Frontier changed the research landscape at universities and how universities responded to the initiative. I show that the agencies it established and funded initially recruited research proposals from faculty and applications from students for fellowships and scholarships. By the 1960s the tables had begun to turn and universities had begun to push for more resources from the federal government for research, support for faculty salary and research assistants and higher indirect costs. The process transformed the relationship between universities and federal funders; it also transformed the relationship between universities and faculty. The university research system that has grown and evolved faces a number of challenges that threaten the health of universities and the research enterprise and have implications for discovery and innovation. Five are discussed in the closing section. They are (1) a proclivity on the part of faculty and funding agencies to be risk averse; (2) the tendency to produce more PhDs than the market for research positions demands; (3) a heavy concentration of research in the biomedical sciences; (4) a continued expansion on the part of universities that may place universities at increased financial risk and (5) a flat or declining amount of federal funds for research.

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Paula E., Reaping What Bush Sowed? (November 1, 2013). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 14-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2443564 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2443564

Paula E. Stephan (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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