Asee peer logo

Running the Academy as a Business

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Continuing Professional Development Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1350.1 - 26.1350.16



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Mitchell L Springer PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Dr. Springer currently serves as the Executive Director for Purdue University’s College of Technology located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He possesses over 35 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized, has contributed to scholarship more than 150 articles, presentations, books and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. Dr. Springer is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR & SHRM-SCP), in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and, in civil and domestic mediation. He is a State of Indiana Registered domestic mediator.

visit author page


Mark T Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Mark Schuver is the Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is responsible for the administration/operations of the Center with Program Management oversight of the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree, the Construction Management Master’s Degree and non-credit certificate programs for working professionals in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Mark was employed by Caterpillar Inc. for 35 years with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a BS in Business Administration (1990) and MS in Management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Continuing Professional Development Division since 2006 and has served on the Executive Board of CPDD since 2008. He has authored multiple papers for the ASEE National Conference and presented at each CIEC. Mark also serves as the Chair of the five Special Interest Groups of CPDD.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Running the Academy as a Business“…We don’t need to be in the distance education game. The programs are watered down, the facultyare business people/adjuncts, the students aren’t like normal students, the whole distance educationconcept is for limited audiences and unnecessary, and, we perhaps most importantly we are not abusiness…”This, and other similar tunes are the words of the fight songs of those who argue the academy is not abusiness and should not be engaged in non-traditional distance-oriented initiatives or opportunities.This paper will dig deeper into the cultural implications of running the academy as a business, and theimplications for historical thresholds for adult learner entry. This paper will examine the implications onoffering distance learning programs to professional working adult learners within existing cultures. Thepaper will examine the underlying premise of business versus non-business entities through definitionand differentiation of businesses, nonprofits and public institutions of higher education. Additionally,this paper will address the question of the “burning platform” or “call to action” demanded in acompetitive environment and quite possibly the single greatest missing asset of public institutions ofhigher education.This paper will close with an in-depth evaluation, through a compare and contrast, of the key elementsthat represent the fundamental underlying premise for suggesting public institutions of highereducation are a business and should be empowered and encouraged to engage in those initiatives andopportunities that support the advancement of higher education in today’s highly competitiveeducational marketplace.

Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2015, June), Running the Academy as a Business Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24687

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015