After rising from a member of the team to one of its biggest boosters, Kevin Plank’s name is synonymous with Terps football. Despite the Under Armour love that’s spread across the state as a result, University of Maryland alumnus Kevin R. McClure argues in the Chronicle of Higher Education that the Under Armour founder’s most recent gift represents higher education’s “misguided priorities.”
Plank made yet another splash in College Park this fall with a $25 million gift to help turn Cole Field House into an indoor practice facility for the football team. Another donation helped open the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both were heralded by the administration as moves to compete in both fields.
To McClure, the emphasis on sports and business represents the “tragic transformation of American higher education from a social institution to a platform catering to private industry, wealthy donors, and affluent boosters.”
While arguments that major college football takes up too much of many state school budgets is nothing new, McClure’s points about the innovation academy shed light on the reality that “that tenure-track faculty are pushed aside in the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset.”
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