I always get ideas about things I should invent, start, or suggest some entity start (for the simple reason that I lack the funds and infrastructure to create many things). One thing I think should be started is private corporate universities. The first company that could do this effectively in my opinion would be Nike. Nike could easily set up a college built around athletics that would compete (academically and athletically) with the others around the country. At Nike University, academic programs would be geared toward athletic niche jobs, e.g. training coaches, professional athletes, sports agents, athletic directors, et cetera. If business booms, the school could expand its programs toward athletic marketing, athletic product design, and so on. The sports program at such a school would also be dominant in ways that are almost unforeseeably magnificent, due to the nature of recruiting, high school athletes’ school search, and the widespread nature of big company names.
As far as economic/social impacts of such a place, there would be several positive ramifications. First, it would provide education in a way that is geared toward one industry. This specialization is similar to the reason why Japan was able to overcome western industrialization that was several centuries ahead in only about 75 years. The education received at such a place would be tailored toward the industry and perhaps even the company which owns the university (say, if the graduates of the Nike University get first crack at Nike corporate or other jobs) in a way that would push the envelope of education and career-orienting knowledge. Second, competition in education is always a good thing. It breeds furtherance of ideas, teaching methods, and dissemination of knowledge. Furthermore, other companies within the same industry would start their own universities for the same end, which could add more competition within industries by increasing educational standards for employment. Third, the cost of such a place could be neutral to the company as far as monetary value is concerned. It could charge tuition for those who just want the education and it could give everyone a free ride that wishes to work for Nike and make up for it by receiving benefit in the form of employment. NU would not even have to make money from these ventures (they would only have to operate at neutral cost, since their capitalist ventures are the real money-making schemes of their existence), because the benefit they will receive in personally trained employees would outweigh the cost of educating the people who wish to work for Nike. In turn, the low cost (or no-cost) of an education at NU would be good for those who cannot normally go to college for lack of ability to pay for it. The high standards of such an institution’s academic program would instead be the reason to value the education therein, which is a lesson rarely learned in today’s world (most people now value their education for the monetary and temporal cost, not for the education itself).
In addition to these reasons, other companies in many different industries could create their own schools. Microsoft University, with programs geared toward programming, computer science, engineering, marketing, and general nerd-dom would flourish in Redmond. Pfizer University, Samsung University, Apple University, and many more. If all else fails, Kevin Johnston University.
Can you imagine the physical prowess of a football game between Nike University and Adidas University, given the recruits that would wish to attend such institutions? Bad ass is what that would be…
Several universities are already seeking corporate sponsorship for their classes. Hopefully some companies will realize the capital that would be generated through a private corporate university and expand this idea to a productive end…
(Thanks to WCB for the link…)