Wendy Guillies, 816.932.1046 email@example.com
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., January 17, 2006 - Seeking to advance entrepreneurship education in colleges and universities, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced the formation of a multidisciplinary panel of distinguished scholars who will provide recommendations for a comprehensive approach to teaching entrepreneurship to college students.
Through the Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education - the first panel of its kind - the Foundation seeks to create a framework that becomes the gold standard for an exemplary university-level educational program in entrepreneurship. Though entrepreneurial activity has played a dominant role in the U.S. economy for decades, the study of entrepreneurship is relatively new to higher education - and what is taught is not consistent from institution to institution.
"Despite impressive gains in the numbers and quality of courses over the past twenty years, entrepreneurship education still lives mostly on the fringes of academe, not in the mainstream," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Our aim is to change that so that entrepreneurship is a legitimate, full-fledged field of study. The Kauffman Panel's guidance on the formation of a comprehensive curriculum in entrepreneurship is central to this goal."
Chairing the Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education is Richard Newton, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. Other panel members, representing a variety of academic disciplines, are:
- Rodney Brooks, Ph.D., director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory;
- William Green, Ph.D., dean of The College at the University of Rochester;
- R. Glenn Hubbard, Ph.D., dean of the Columbia Business School at Columbia University;
- Dipak Jain, Ph.D., dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University;
- Linda Katehi, Ph.D., the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering at Purdue University;
- George McLendon, Ph.D., dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Duke University;
- Jim Plummer, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford University; and
- Myron Roomkin, Ph.D., the Alfred J. Weatherhead, III professor of Management and dean at Case Western Reserve University.
The Panel meets today for the first time and will meet throughout the year for extended work and review sessions, primarily in Kansas City, where the Foundation - the leading source of philanthropic funding for the promotion of entrepreneurship - is based. To assist in developing the new curriculum guidelines, panel members will evaluate relevant research about the process of successful business formation and will review what has been learned in the many existing programs on entrepreneurship under way throughout the United States.
A recent Kauffman Foundation-sponsored survey revealed that the names and key concepts of entrepreneurship courses vary widely from school to school. "Though most university-level entrepreneurship programs have some basic features in common, there is so much variation it's hard to identify a typical curriculum, let alone an exemplary one," said Judith Cone, the Kauffman Foundation's vice president of entrepreneurship. While diversity is good, this field needs more of the consistency in core concepts found in other academic fields."
Carl Schramm added that the Kauffman Panel's charter will be to review best-practices and develop a well-articulated common set of principles and skills for entrepreneurship that can be taught. "Adding such a 'canon,'" he said, "would significantly accelerate the rate at which students become aware of entrepreneurial activity, its importance to our economy and society, and the extraordinary future opportunities it offers."
The Kauffman Foundation has years of experience promoting entrepreneurship education at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels. For more than 10 years, the Foundation has worked to ensure that entrepreneurship was a facet of the nation's schools of business. Pleased with the progress in this area - today, nearly every U.S. school of business provides entrepreneurship studies - the Foundation recently embarked on a new strategy of making entrepreneurship a "cross-campus experience," thereby opening up opportunities for non-business students who are often more likely to launch a high-impact company. Indeed, in an analysis of the founders who made the 2002 Inc. 500 - the celebrated list of America's fastest-growing private firms - fewer than 18 percent had MBAs.
The chair of the Kauffman Panel, Richard Newton of the University of California-Berkeley, took special note of the key objective of the group's efforts. "We want to take a fresh and in-depth look at all instructional approaches now available in the sector, and then fashion the kind of practical study program that will be truly multidisciplinary in nature and responsive to the real needs of a marketplace. Whatever profession or calling a student chooses, the impulse, and often the need, to strike out on one's own requires a body of very specialized business knowledge and understanding that this curriculum framework will seek to establish."
The Panel expects to issue its curriculum report in 2007.
About the Kauffman Foundation: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at www.kauffman.org