The Marketed University

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    • 00:03

      [The Marketed University][What inspired you to conduct this researchon career funneling?

    • 00:17

      AMY BINDER: We moved into a new phase of our research together.[Amy Binder, PhD, Professor, University of California,San Diego] We had gotten this paper, more or less,off the ground.And Dan, I think you were just a second year student whenwe started selling students and, or maybe even a first yearand you were taking my field methods course,

    • 00:38

      AMY BINDER [continued]: and so we wanted to build on the findings of selling students.We knew that there was this high level of structured recruitmenton elite campuses.And so we wanted to see what career services look likeon other campuses, as well.We wanted to know if there was this level of recruitment.If career services really was stuck

    • 00:60

      AMY BINDER [continued]: in the dark ages of trying to help studentsfigure out what color is your parachute,and just help them find their passions,and not really do much for them.We wanted to see the expanse of this.So we wanted to expand the sample of our campusesbeyond just the private elites.And Dan was taking a field methods class

    • 01:22

      AMY BINDER [continued]: that I was teaching and then was heading into a practicum classwhere he could really continue to work on the project.And so we teamed up on this one, and Dancollected all of the data for this,and really drove this research.

    • 01:40

      DANIEL DAVIS: And so the questions thatwere sort of behind this were- [Daniel Davis, PhD Candidate,University of California, San Diego]after the recession there's all these studentanxieties about the job market, employment was higher.And so we were curious what are career centers doingto respond to this.And so at first I went into this shadow career counselors

    • 02:01

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: and watched them do career counseling.Went to dozens of career services events,from workshops to career fairs and so forth.But while I was in there, I found outthat there's this whole new professiongrowing inside the career counseling worldthat's different than the traditional career counselorrole.And so I've never seen this before.

    • 02:22

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: And so the original questions, were just howare career centers responding to these post-recession studentsanxieties but the project went in a different directionwhen we saw this sort of new interesting organizational formthat we called corporate partnership programs.And so that's what we ended up exploring more.[What are corporate sponsorship programs?]

    • 02:48

      DANIEL DAVIS: So corporate partnership programsare these, almost like third party headhunting services,where the career services center will have this separate groupof staff whose job is to go after corporations that theywant to place their students with and offer thema host of services.

    • 03:10

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: Literally menus with bronze, silver, and gold tiersof buy-in membership perks and stuff.Everything from preferred parking and interview roomspace, to better placement at career fairs.I mean, some of these campuses-- campuseshave come up with 20 more different services.Just finding anything they can to bundle as this package.

    • 03:31

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: And the idea is you pay us money,we give you all the services and we're able to meet almost allof your need for new talent each year.And so, these programs they can be good for students right,if you want to work for this company.And they've really made it easy for me to get hired there.

    • 03:52

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: But one question-- lingering question I have,is what are the unintended consequences?So what happens when a bunch of collegesmake these contracts with companies--so what happens when you are a student at a college thatdoesn't have one of these?[What was your research question?What were your findings?]

    • 04:14

      DANIEL DAVIS: Yeah, so the methods for this onewas largely qualitative.But it was mixed methods in that Idid participant observation, so job shadowing with careercenter folks, there was interviewsand follow up interviews, and attended a lot of events.So it was blend of fieldwork, observational work,

    • 04:35

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: and interviewing.We discovered that there's this whole other professioninside of the career center worldthat had been growing called corporate partnership programs.And so at one campus, there were a couple of campuseswe looked at, but at one campus they even literallyseparated the traditional career counselorsfrom the corporate partnership officers, whohave a really different jobs.So that career counselors interface with students,

    • 04:58

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: it's your traditional like resume building and stuffthat Amy had mentioned before.But the corporate partnership folks,they're sort of focused on recruiting corporationsto the university.And so they go out and they have to-- theyhave to decide which companies do wewant to send our students to.And they pick a few and then they

    • 05:18

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: try to cultivate these relationships.And ultimately the goal is to get that corporationto do almost all of their hiring for new talentfrom this one college and to pay the career centerfor the privilege to do it.And so the career center gives thema host of services, literally these bronze, silver,

    • 05:39

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: and gold menus-- they call them menus of thingsthey can buy to get access to students.And the-- the idea is that it saves themmoney from their HR department havingto hunt for talent right.So we looked across the country at wherethis practice was spreading and indeed, it is very much takenoff at a variety of campuses.

    • 06:01

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: Typically larger campuses with more resourcesto do this because it's beneficial to the companyto be associated with the college and the collegeto be associated with those companies.But a lingering question for me, iswhat happens when you are at a college thatcan't afford one of these programsor that just doesn't have one.And maybe your student that wantsto apply to company X and you're highly qualified

    • 06:25

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: but they have a contract with this other schooland almost all of their hiring is going to happen through it.So even if you're more qualified,you're basically getting locked out.And these kinds of things have happenedfor years with elite schools and elite companiesbut corporate partnerships shows a spreadingof that practice, down the tiers to an additional layer

    • 06:45

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: of colleges, and so it could potentiallycreate just greater stratification, inequality,and the labor force processes.

    • 06:58

      AMY BINDER: And I-- another kind of byproductof looking at these kinds of programs,is that we think that this is another signof the corporatization of universities.So there are lots of ways that universitieshave been becoming more corporate or financialized.Actually there's a young student, named Charlie Eaton,

    • 07:23

      AMY BINDER [continued]: who just got his PhD at Berkeley and isdoing a Postdoc at Stanford, and he'sbeen studying the myriad ways that universitieshave financialized, by growing their endowments,by raising tuitions, by having these kinds of relationshipswith corporate entities, outside the university.And this was one place where nobody

    • 07:44

      AMY BINDER [continued]: had noticed this kind of corporatization before.Where you're taking corporate money, and rememberit's really the wealthy firms that can do this best.They have more money to attract not only the computerscientists for Qualcomm in our area,but also they can get the liberal arts

    • 08:05

      AMY BINDER [continued]: majors who are majoring to work in their business developmentand so forth.So we see this as an element of corporatization.Dan and I actually have had a lot of disagreementsor friendly, friendly discussionsabout whether we think this is more good thing or a bad thing.And obviously, the world is not black and whiteand so there's both.

    • 08:26

      AMY BINDER [continued]: I mean, I see it as a good thing in some ways,because career services and career counseling and hasfor so long been, and I'm sorry to my colleagues whowork in this area but kind of a joke.There are very few of us who felt like we reallygot much out of career services, whether you're student nowor you're a faculty member watching your student trying

    • 08:48

      AMY BINDER [continued]: to get help from career counseling.So the fact that there are new professionalsin career services who are doing moreto try to link with local employers.That's good.That's really good.And I like it too that they're lookingfor jobs for the sociology majors in addition

    • 09:08

      AMY BINDER [continued]: to jobs for the engineering majorsand they can bundle those students.On the other hand, as Dan was saying,who knows how ham-fisted they'll be about this.Who knows if they'll just attract the entitieswith the most money.And there is this kind of cascadingproblem of the institutions that can't

    • 09:30

      AMY BINDER [continued]: afford this kind of thing.So it's really, as in so many things with higher education,it's a mixed bag.

    • 09:38

      DANIEL DAVIS: It's a mixed bag.I mean, it can be good for some studentsand it shows what a different proactiveapproach by the career services offices, which is great.But I think part of the problem isthat, the career service centers themselvesare under a lot of pressure.One they've got to prove their value,that they can actually get students jobs

    • 09:59

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: and so they want to get better at that.But also, for the first time, they'reincreasingly expected to subsidize themselvesfinancially.So as these different units on campus, part of usfinancialization process and marketization process,as they're supposed to start thinkinglike their own little entrepreneurial units,they have to come up with ways to make money.And so this is a way that works.

    • 10:19

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: So they can fund some of their other servicesthrough these corporate partnership programs.But that means they kind of have their hands tiedin needing to go after companies that can pay these bigger fees.So I think it could be even-- couldbe better if they didn't have to raise as much money themselves.If the university would subsidize

    • 10:40

      DANIEL DAVIS [continued]: more of their activities, then theycould be productive, not just for as a few firms thatcan afford it but they can go after a biggervariety of nonprofits and impact fields and such.And so in that case, then I think it could justbe better all around.We'll see.

    • 10:58

      AMY BINDER: And something just cameto mind too, as there are more units on campus thatshow that they can self-subsidize, I think there'smore pressure on all kinds of other units on campusto have to do that, including academic departments,like literature.And some of most distorted ways that this is happening now

    • 11:18

      AMY BINDER [continued]: is that departments like literature,like sociology, like anthropology,are looking for ways to make money to support themselves.They're not getting the kind of support from the universitythat they need.So they're creating, master's programs for example,and I'm very much against that in most cases,

    • 11:38

      AMY BINDER [continued]: especially in the humanities and social scienceswhere I don't think a master's is very useful to somebody.I'm not going to say that in a blanket waybut these are just ways of making moneyoff full freight students and I find that very problematic.And so the more the university corporatizes in this area,

    • 12:00

      AMY BINDER [continued]: the more of a model that might be for other partsof the university.And so, slippery slope.

  • Summary

The Marketed University

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Professor Amy Binder and Daniel Davis discuss the corporatization of universities. Their research focuses on the career services centers of different universities to see if they were partnering with corporations. Binder and Davis discuss how their research started, their research design, and their research findings.

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The Marketed University

Professor Amy Binder and Daniel Davis discuss the corporatization of universities. Their research focuses on the career services centers of different universities to see if they were partnering with corporations. Binder and Davis discuss how their research started, their research design, and their research findings.

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