How academics are also entrepreneurs

Each week, Symposium Magazine provides a blogging forum for the week’s featured article. This week’s featured author is Prof. Linda Essig. You can read her blog here and follow her on Twitter @LindaInPhoenix.It’s Monday. The start of the week. For many faculty around the US like me, it is also the start of the fall semester. Half a dozen years ago, I ran into Arizona State University President Michael Crow in a hallway and he pulled me aside to ask, “Why do you think some of the faculty are resistant to our entrepreneurship efforts?” I provided a politic reply and Dr. Crow responded: “But entrepreneurship just means getting something started.” I in turn replied: “That’s why entrepreneurship is so important to the arts.”

If we can define entrepreneurship as “getting something started,” then getting that new course or new program off the ground is an entrepreneurial action. The meta-cognitive skill I discussed in my article, the skill of thinking about thinking, is one of many that support entrepreneurial activity, including the activities associated with starting the semester.

Professors building their syllabi and finalizing their program curricula are uniquely challenged to not only exercise their own meta-cognitive skills, but project how they will provide opportunities for their students to exercise those skills as well.

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