The state-sponsored student entrepreneur

Matthew M. Mars, Sheila Slaughter, Gary Rhoades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


This paper introduces the emergent role of the state-sponsored student entrepreneur within the academic capitalist knowledge/learning regime. Drawing on two clarifying cases of such entrepreneurship, the study explores the shifting boundaries between public and private sectors, the creation of new circuits of knowledge, and the entrepreneurial learning environments that are revealed. An important modification and extension of Slaughter and Rhoades' (2004) theory of academic capitalism is provided in casting students not simply as targets and victims of this trend but as active entrepreneurial agents who in important ways point to how deeply embedded the regime has come to be. Our cases reveal a situation in which students learn content and entrepreneurial strategies from faculty members, tap into university expertise and infrastructure in the form of important interstitial units and personnel, and become partners with faculty in commercial ventures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-670
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Higher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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