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  • Creating the Entrepreneurial University to Support Liberal Education
  • Julie B. Walsh-Covarrubias (bio)
S. M. Hines. (2008). Creating the Entrepreneurial University to Support Liberal Education. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9796181-2-3. $25.00 paperback.

Is a liberal education a luxury, or is it actually a necessity for higher education to survive and prosper in today’s challenging environment? Are today’s colleges and universities becoming increasingly tenuous due to the new and many challenges facing them?

In Creating the Entrepreneurial University to Support Liberal Education, Samuel Hines makes the argument that liberal education is a necessity in today’s world. Hines asserts that liberal education empowers individuals, through a combination of “ knowledge, wisdom, and skills,” to become “global thinkers” who can adjust to and/or overcome the challenges in our ever-changing environment. Additionally, he claims that due to the challenges caused by financial problems, for-profit competitors, technological innovations, etc., liberal education universities must become entrepreneurial in order to survive and flourish in the twenty-first century. So, according to Hines, liberal education is the foundation of the entrepreneurial university and an entrepreneurial university is crucial to the survival of liberal education—thus, making each dependent on the other.

In his writings, you find examples where Hines has drawn from his considerable academic leadership experience. In 1973, he began his career at the College of Charleston, where he held numerous faculty and administrative positions, including serving as dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and was the founding dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. In July 2007, he became the provost and dean of the College for The Citadel. [End Page 141]

The ideas presented are insightful for the challenges experienced by both administration and faculty. Hines seems to be sensitive to the potential issues for all those involved in developing this entrepreneurial spirit, which centers around the message that universities must become more “market smart and mission centered.”

The text includes examples of entrepreneurial models, including one in which the author is personally involved. Hines describes how the entrepreneurial collaborative ventures between communities and higher education can positively impact all involved. His vision for the desired culture of an entrepreneurial university is a team-based leadership style that treats all individuals as the stakeholders of any venture. He describes one of the major strengths of the entrepreneurial university as being the emergent synergies of students, faculty, and the administration. Hines outlines enabling conditions in order to adopt the entrepreneurial model; describes the many political, economical, and social issues involved in higher education; highlights some of the rewards and risks associated with the entrepreneurial model; and concludes with the importance of a strong, collaborative, and communicative leadership.

The final pages of the book are devoted to four colleagues’ perspectives. With two of his colleagues, the similarities in views are more pronounced, and vice versa with the final two perspectives. Although this is a brief read, Hines and his colleagues are able to provide a solid message that there are significant fundamental issues facing higher education in the twenty-first century, creating a situation in which it may be very difficult to continue to produce much needed graduates who have a liberal education.

The brevity of the book makes it a quick read. The writing style, the author’s use of examples throughout for illustration, and the sensible layout of his argument make it a very easy read. Hines has also amassed an impressive list of references focused on the survivability of higher education. However, what makes this book most pleasurable is the author’s passion and dedication to truly strive to make a liberal education not something of the past.

Creating the Entrepreneurial University to Support Liberal Education is an insightful resource for higher education faculty and administrators. Whether you agree completely with the author or not, you will likely find some ideas worth considering for making colleges and universities more competitive and successful in the twenty-first century. [End Page 142]

Julie B. Walsh-Covarrubias

Julie B. Walsh-Covarrubias is an associate professor and the associate director of education...


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pp. 141-142
Launched on MUSE
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