THE ROLE OF INDUSTRY COUNCILS IN THE BUSINESS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The past three decades the face of higher education in the United States has changed. In 1985 McDonald wrote that colleges and universities were increasing their relationships with industry and business. She contended that this increase inclusion of industry provided students with invaluable access to industry leaders via participating in career-related opportunities, councils, and research. And, although McDonald sees value in such a collaboration she questions the growing role of industry and businesses in higher education and even queries who is doing the educating, higher education or industry. Researchers (Billett, 2004; Lehtimaki & Peltonen, 2013; Turk-Bicakci & Brint, 2005) have examined this very concern whereas others (Cairns, Mohaghegh, Cundy & Johnson, 2000; Thorley, 2014) have looked at the beneficial ways industry enhances the higher education classroom and how the college classroom can benefit industry and business (Fliedner & Mathieson, 2009). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of industry as a contributor to academic departments achieving their goals of updated curriculum, post-graduation success, and fundraising. The authors offer a model for using industry councils in academic departments and make recommendations for success. The creation of an industry or advisory council can be an effective way to use industry. Gabbin (2002) suggests that industry advisory councils are a great way to gain support, to get industry input, and to get external financial sponsorship for programs. The requirement of academic accreditation boards to involve industry is one of the forces guiding business programs to develop industry councils. The accreditation bodies are looking to increase accountability (Schaeffer & Rouse, 2014).
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