Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.1084.1 - 6.1084.9
University - Industry Relationship
Zdzislaw B. Kremens Central Connecticut State University New Britain, Connecticut
The paper discusses university-industry relationship. All presented examples are based on CCSU experience. There is a common tendency to focus on research and development projects. Although they are very important, contacts with industry should not be limited to R&D exclusively. The four-year programs are very often criticized for not providing graduates with absolutely up-to-date knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, universities should not sacrifice depth of knowledge for current technical skills. By maintaining intellectual integrity, universities make it easier for graduates to ensure a career in the long-term. Successful practices and experiences from CSSU illustrate the possible ways to better respond to industry needs.
What can universities do to facilitate the increasing demand for Science, Engineering and Information Technology workers? Why has the gap between the number of graduates and the number of openings grown dramatically during the last several years? Although these basic questions are primarily directed to universities, the answers should come from all constituencies. Universities themselves are incapable of resolving this problem without strong support from industry and governments, if their mission, to reach prospective students and equip them with adequate knowledge and the desire for life-long learning, is to be successful.
There is evidently a need to coordinate curricula development to meet changing labor market demands. The "ivory tower" concept of universities derived from the paradigm that university- industry contact should be minimal has remained attractive, to many universities, for decades. The new paradigm is based on the very obvious observation that education does not and can not exist within a vacuum. This new trend resulted in a number of formal university-industry interactions over the past two decades. Usually, when considering university-industry relationships, there is a common tendency to focus on research and development projects. Research and development is a very important factor in developing industry-university relationship, however contacts should not be limited to R&D exclusively. There are many other potential areas for bringing faculty and academic programs closer to industry. The faculty can participate, contribute and also learn from their industrial counterparts through various approaches that might include the hiring of adjunct faculty, technology transfer projects, consulting work, graduate placement etc.
One of the most important concerns in the university-industry relationship is how responsive the universities must and should be. There are two aspects of this problem - the scope of offered programs and program curricula. The four-year programs are very often criticized for not
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Kremens, Z. (2001, June), University Industry Relationship Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9935
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