The Public Interest

Regulating business and the universities: one problem or two?

Nathan Glazer

Summer 1979

THE history of the Federal government’s regulation of business is much longer than that of its regulation of the universities and colleges. Until the middle 1960’s or so, its purposes in regulating business were also very different from the purposes of government regulation of the academy: Government regulation of business was punitive in its origins; of colleges and universities, benign. And, until recently, the attitude of business toward government and its expansion has also shown marked differences from that of universities and colleges: Business has been suspicious; universities and colleges (at any rate, their faculties) have approved. Today, though many spokesmen of higher education (fewer spokesmen of business) still try to argue that the relations between government and higher education are simply going through some early growing pains, and that in the end all will be well, universities and colleges are increasingly finding that they, like business and industry, are in bed with an 800-pound gorilla and not a benign teddy bear.

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