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Princeton University, some might say, has come up with a better idea. This week, Princeton began a series of eight advertisements in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to lure American corporations to set up shop in a new, university-owned industrial park development.
The new project is being billed as a great opportunity to establish creative interaction between research schools and research-oriented firms by intermingling their facilities at Princeton's James Forrestal research center. At the same time, it will provide the University with a sizeable income from the property within the center that is designated for commercial use.
But beneath its "beneficial for all" packaging--Princeton rakes in the money and the corporations get a valuable pipeline of expertise and personnel from one of the country's top research facilities--Princeton's new project may be an extremely dangerous one for private universities.
Princeton's new industrial park venture raises the question of just how closely education and research facilities should ally themselves with private, profit-oriented companies even more clearly than the joint program announced last year between Harvard and the Monsanto Corporation.
And, what is worse, it appears that Princeton's administrators, faculty members and students have failed to consider the possible ramifications of the project or to ensure adequate procedures for monitoring it.
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