University of Delaware
UD President Patrick Harker is co-author of an article on "Changing the Academic Culture: Valuing Patents and Commercialization Toward Tenure and Career Advancement."

Valuing patents

President Harker co-authors article on 'changing the academic culture'

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4:42 p.m., April 28, 2014--University of Delaware President Patrick Harker is co-author of the article “Changing the Academic Culture: Valuing Patents and Commercialization Toward Tenure and Career Advancement” published Monday, April 28, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, one of the world’s most cited multidisciplinary scientific journals.

The article states that given the increased role of research universities in a knowledge-centered economy, there is a need to make changes in incentives for the central stakeholder, the faculty member.

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“There is a fundamental disconnect between technology transfer activities and incentives to faculty members in terms of merit raises, tenure, and career advancement,” the article notes, while offering possible models for changes in tenure and promotion criteria.

The article concludes, “Ten years from now, the university culture will be, or should be, much more proactive in terms of nurturing ideas and trying to identify the ones that have the most potential to impact society, as well as being more active in finding resources to bring those ideas to reality.”

Co-authors with Harker include Eric W. Kaler, former dean of UD’s College of Engineering who is now president of the University of Minnesota; Paul R. Sanberg, senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida and founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors; Morteza Gharib, vice provost at the California Institute of Technology; Richard B. Marchase, vice president for research and economic development at the University of Alabama, Birmingham; Timothy D. Sands, president of Virginia Polytechnic and State University; Nasser Arshadi, vice provost for research at the University of Missouri, St. Louis; and Sudeep Sarkar, associate vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida.

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