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January 12, 2008 - 8:06pm



UD has just attended her first press conference as a reporter. She had a tussle with Myles Brand about what a university is.

Brand branded UD as someone who doesn't "understand the modern university." He was annoyed because UD told him that he's very "intellectually muddy" about what a university is.

Basically Brand's argument was that university sports are great economic engines for university towns, so all's cool. A reporter then asked him whether we shouldn't be concerned that those activities may have no discernible academic character to them and may undermine the academic mission of the university.

Brand responded with a history of the expansion of the university into, you know, technology transfer, etc. Since the university role has expanded generally, it's no big deal that it would expand into an athletic industrial complex sort of thing...

UD asked Brand if he could name anything economically productive that a university might do that would not be legitimately university-related. He fumbled around and said Yes, teaching people how to steal. Well, UD said, that's an easy one; universities shouldn't do things that are illegal. The question is whether universities should do anything conceivable, within the law, that can be shown to increase local revenues, the way Saturday football games do.

At this point Brand told UD she didn't understand universities.


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