Navigating the Partner Landscape - Understanding the Impact of External Resources and Partners on Universities in the Modern Economy
Earning an education is a life-altering experience on an individual and societal basis. Beyond individual impact, academic institutions contribute to a constructive community through expertise and energy in the form of talented students and faculty. Outside of the classroom, university research and development activities have been proven to increase metropolitan areas' local human capital stock and further benefit the local economy through knowledge spillover. As both the importance and cost of higher education simultaneously increase, it is important to understand financial viability and the impact external partners have at HEIs. Faced with the demand to provide more services with less public funding, HEIs are relying on increased funding from alternative sources. Corporations are a unique revenue source to HEIs since the future success of their business is dependent on the production of educated graduates and innovations. As companies become more strategic with their time, talent, and money spent at HEIs, it is crucial to understand the determinants of how and why they decide to partner with universities. This dissertation examines university-industry engagement through three studies. The first study expands on existing state funding research by analyzing budget revenue diversification of public universities in the state of Texas and the university response of development office budgets. Two additional studies explore the relationship between companies and HEIs, from both the industry and academic perspective. While scholars have examined corporate philanthropy, literature has not fully explored corporate engagement at HEIs. A holistic collaboration includes corporate philanthropy, knowledge transfer, research collaborations, and student recruitment, among other activities. A second study analyzes determinants of HEI engagement and partnership satisfaction through an industry lens. The third study analyzes engagement through an academic lens, exploring the impact of selected organizational factors on the success of university-industry partnerships. Understanding the perspectives of both sides of the university-industry partnership in one comprehensive study is distinctive. The results will be informative to both scholars and practitioners.