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Questions about the organization of entrepreneurship centers in universities

  • 1.  Questions about the organization of entrepreneurship centers in universities

    Posted 03-12-2019 14:16

    The undergraduate entrepreneurship program at Michigan State University is 3.5 years old, and our program is now getting a top to bottom review. Our Provost is looking at the best permanent "home" for MSU's entrepreneurship program. Toward that end I've been asked to do some benchmarking and data gathering about what other universities are doing.

    Our undergraduate entrepreneurship program is campus-wide, and our Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is open to all students regardless of major or home college. As such we have nearly 600 students earning a Minor in E&I. Those students represent well over 100 unique majors. So we have a very broad program that has to appeal to a very wide swath of our students. We believe that one campus-wide program, which can be tailored by each department, is preferable to a variety of programs in different colleges.

    Toward that, I'm interested in learning the following. I'm grateful to anyone who can provide guidance via email, but I'd also be happy to arrange a short phone call. 

    Many thanks, in advance.

    Questions:

    1. What cross-campus, inter-disciplinary programs does your university offer? Specifically, is entrepreneurship managed that way? Or is it decentralized?
    2. How is the funding provided? Who pays for it?
    3. What percent of overall funding comes from endowments and gifts vs. directly from the university?
    4. Does your center influence (or fund) faculty and/or the delivery of entrepreneurship courses?
    5. How did your program get started?
    6. What is the reporting structure like?


    ------------------------------
    Neil Kane
    Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    nkane@msu.edu

    Entrepreneurship Portal: https://entrepreneurship.msu.edu
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSUEship/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MSU_Eship
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/neilkane

    Going from "Why I can't" to "Why can't I?"


    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Questions about the organization of entrepreneurship centers in universities

    Posted 03-13-2019 14:43
    Hi Neil
    I'm the Director for the Launch Pad at the University of Miami (established 2008) and will answer as best I can.

    1. What cross-campus, inter-disciplinary programs does your university offer? Specifically, is entrepreneurship managed that way? Or is it decentralized?
      1. We have an entrepreneurship major inside the business school.
      2. Our center is OUTSIDE the business school. 70% of our "clients" are non-business majors.
    2. How is the funding provided? Who pays for it?
      1. Our funding is from the provost's office. We're part of "U Innovation" which includes tech transfer and sponsored research.
    3. What percent of overall funding comes from endowments and gifts vs. directly from the university?
      1. 10% from endowments/gifts, 90% from university
    4. Does your center influence (or fund) faculty and/or the delivery of entrepreneurship courses?
      1. Yes, we work with them to guide curriculum, but do not control it. We also support their courses by doing guest lectures.
    5. How did your program get started?
      1. Started as an alternative to career services.  Also exclusive to only University affiliated people.
    6. What is the reporting structure like?
      1. Us > VProvost > Provost


    ------------------------------
    Brian Breslin
    University of Miami
    Coral Gables FL
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Questions about the organization of entrepreneurship centers in universities

    Posted 03-14-2019 11:17
    1. What cross-campus, inter-disciplinary programs does your university offer? Specifically, is entrepreneurship managed that way? Or is it decentralized?
    I would neither characterize our structure at Yale as centralized or decentralized---it is somewhere in between these two extremes. There are perhaps eight programs around campus that support the extra-curricular entrepreneurial ambitions of students (and faculty and staff to a lesser extent). Most of those programs have an entrepreneurship component, but the word does not appear in the title program. For example, our Center for Business and the Environment at the Yale School of Forestry supports many entrepreneurs and also has extensive activities outside of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the dominant raison d'etre for a few programs, including the Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology at Yale as well as the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Each of these programs serves different constituents with bespoke needs, though some, particularly Tsai CITY, serve a broad constituency.

    Our curriculum---that is, for credit classes in entrepreneurship and related disciplines---is largely separated from the extra-curricular options available to students. Most of the students who take classes in entrepreneurship are not practicing or aspiring entrepreneurs. Instead, students often take a class in entrepreneurship for the same reason I would take a class in music---not to be a musician, but to be musical.

    1. How is the funding provided? Who pays for it?
    The largest programs are funded by the philanthropy of donors, either through endowment or current-use funds. Many programs also receive support from the Provost's office and their host department or school.

    1. What percent of overall funding comes from endowments and gifts vs. directly from the university?
    This varies, though I suspect the plurality of funding comes from endowed funds.

    1. Does your center influence (or fund) faculty and/or the delivery of entrepreneurship courses?
    Our curriculum in entrepreneurship is mostly within the School of Management. This is a natural home because every venture, regardless of industry, will have a management component. There are numerous entrepreneurship classes distributed through the rest of the university, for example in engineering and music. The largest body of classes are at SOM. Faculty generally teach that which they desire. Though, I believe it is the case that faculty inclined to teach entrepreneurship also tend to be highly involved in the extra-curricular lives of students and so are particularly sensitive to the changing needs of students. I don't believe at Yale that the various extra-curricular programs exert much influence on the curriculum directly. Though, they are certainly involved as stakeholders. A few staff at these centers are adjunct faculty and teach courses.

    1. How did your program get started?
    Philanthropy.

    1. What is the reporting structure like?

    My program is almost purely curricular and I believe we have a standard academic reporting structure---faculty are largely autonomous but coordinated through shared values and goals. We report to the deputy dean (chief academic officer of the school) and dean. Ultimately, all faculty at Yale report to the Provost I believe.

    Here is an unsolicited comment. At Yale the following three duties are separated: the curriculum in entrepreneurship; extra-curricular support for entrepreneurs; and licensing. I believe that separation minimizes our conflicts of interest (at some cost, clearly), helps each unit best serve its constituents, and is best for our particular university.

    Good luck!
    Sincerely,
    Kyle

    ------------------------------
    Kyle Jensen
    Yale School of Management
    New Haven CT
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Questions about the organization of entrepreneurship centers in universities

    Posted 03-15-2019 01:46

    HI,

     

    You may find this book useful.

     

    Morris, M. H., Kuratko, D. F., & Cornwall, J. R. (2013). Entrepreneurship programs and the modern university. Edward Elgar Publishing.

     

    You can find my review of it here: https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/amle.2014.0398?journalCode=amle

     

    Best Regards,

     

    Per

     

     Per Davidsson | Professor | Talbot Family Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) | QUT Business School (Management) | QUT | https://research.qut.edu.au/ace/ | Phone: +61 7 3138 2051 | Email: per.davidsson@qut.edu.au CRICOS No. 00213J

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