Marketing the American University: Professionalization of Development in Entrepreneurial Universities

  • Nadine Ann SkinnerEmail author
  • Francisco O. Ramirez
Part of the Public Sector Organizations book series (PSO)


The history of American higher education requires understanding the significant impact of private philanthropy. Even given the long relationship, today’s higher education fundraising practices are professionalized to an extent never before seen. The university in America today is in constant communication with a variety of internal and external stakeholders through a range of media. As messaging has significant ramifications for a university, including financial consequences, communications and development have become an omnipresent and highly professionalized feature of the university. This chapter provides an analysis of website research which suggests that development offices are highly institutionalized and professional fundraisers serve as leaders in the modern American university.


Communications Development offices Private philanthropy Professionalization Stakeholders 


  1. Brittingham, B. E., & Pezzullo, T. R. (1990). The Campus Green: Fund Raising in Higher Education (Research Reports). Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education-ERIC Higher Education.Google Scholar
  2. Bromley, P. (2010). The Rationalization of Educational Development: Scientific Activity Among International Nongovernmental Organizations. Comparative Education Review, 54(4), 577–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caboni, T. (2003). Toward Professionalization: Fund Raising Norms and Their Implications for Practice. International Journal of Educational Advancement, 4(1), 77–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark, B. (1998). The Entrepreneurial University: New Foundations for Collegiality, Autonomy, and Achievement. Higher Education Management, 13(2), 9–24.Google Scholar
  5. Collins, R. (1979). The Credential Society: A Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Colyvas, J., & Powell, W. (2006). Roads to Institutionalization: The Remaking of Boundaries Between Public and Private Science. Research in Organizational Behavior, 27, 303–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Council for Advancement and Support of Education. (2017, August 8). Retrieved from About CASE:
  8. Crocker, R. (2005). Nothing More for Men’s Colleges: The Educational Philosophy of Mrs. Russell Sage. In A. Walton (Ed.), Women and Philanthropy in Education. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Croteau, J., & Smith, Z. (2011). Making the Case for Leadership: Profiles of Chief Advancement Officers in Higher Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Curti, M., & Nash, R. (1965). Philanthropy and the Shaping of American Higher Education. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dichev, I. (2001). News or noise? Estimating the Noise in the U.S. News University Rankings. Research in Higher Education, 42(3), 237–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DiMaggio, P., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dobbin, F., & Kelly, E. (2007). How to Stop Harassment: Professional Construction of Legal Compliance in Organizations. American Journal of Sociology, 112(4), 1203–1243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Drezner, N., & Huehes, F. (2015). Fundraising and Institutional Advancement: Theory, Practice, and New Paradigms. New York and London: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  15. Ehrenberg, R. G. (2002a). Reaching for the Brass Ring: The U.S. News & World Report Rankings and Competition. The Review of Higher Education, 26(2), 145–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ehrenberg, R. G. (2002b). Tuition Rising: Why College Costs So Much. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Elliott, D. (2006). The Kindness of Strangers: Philanthropy and Higher Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  18. Gordon, L. (2015). From Power to Prejudice: The Rise of Racial Individualism in Midcentury America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  19. Gumport, P. (2000). Academic Restructuring: Organizational Change and Institutional Imperatives. Higher Education, 39(1), 67–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hall, H. (2014, May 18). After Early Stumble, Penn State Offers Lessons for Fundraising in Crisis. Chronicle of Philanthropy.Google Scholar
  21. Haskins, C. H. (1923). The Rise of Universities. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kimball, B. A., & Johnson, B. A. (2012). The Beginning of “Free Money” Ideology in American Universities: Charles W. Eliot at Harvard, 1869–1909. History of Education Quarterly, 52(2), 222–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kruken, G., & Meier, F. (2006). Turning the University Into an Organizational Actor. In G. S. Drori, J. Meyer, & H. Hwang (Eds.), Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kwak, N., Gavrila, S. G., & Ramirez, F. (this volume). Enacting Diversity in American Higher Education. In T. Christensen, Å. Gornitzka, & F. O. Ramirez, Universities as Agencies: Reputation and Professionalization. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Labaree, D. (2017). A Perfect Mess: The Unlikely Ascendancy of American Higher Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lowen, R. (1997). Creating the Cold War University: The Transformation of Stanford. London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  27. Marginson, S. (2006). Dynamics of National and Global Competition in Higher Education. Higher Education, 52(1), 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meyer, H.-D. (2017). The Design of the University: German, American, and “World Class”. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. More Partnership. (2012). Review of Philanthropy in UK Higher Education 2012 Status Report and Challenges for the Next Decade.Google Scholar
  30. Powell, W. W., Horvath, A., & Brandtner, C. (2016). Click and Mortar: Organizations on the Web. Organizational Behavior, 36, 101–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Proper, E., & Cabroni, T. (2014). Institutional Advancement: What We Know. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ramirez, F. (2006). The Rationalization of Universities. In M.-L. Djelic & K. Sahlin-Andersson (Eds.), Transnational Institutional Dynamics of Regulation. Governance: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Ramirez, F. O., & Christensen, T. (2012). The Formalization of the University: Rules, Roots, and Routes. Higher Education, 65(6), 695–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ramirez, F., & Furuta, J. (2016). American Higher Education: To Be International, Entrepreneurial, and Diverse. In C. Oh, R. Moon, & G.-W. Shin (Eds.), Internationalizing Higher Education in Korea: Challenges and Opportunities in Comparative Perspective. Stanford, CA and Baltimore, MD: Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center and Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  35. Rhodes, D. (2017, November 1). Ken Griffin Gives $125 Million to University of Chicago, the Latest in a Rash of Mega Donations to Illinois Universities. Chicago Tribune.Google Scholar
  36. Rubinson, R. (1986). Class formation, Politics, and Institutions: Schooling in the United States. American Journal of Sociology, 92(3), 519–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sahlin, K., & Wedlin, L. (2008). Circulating Ideas: Imitation, Translation and Editing. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, R. Suddab, & K. Sahlin-Andersson (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (pp. 218–242). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schofer, E., & Meyer, J. W. (2005). The Worldwide Expansion of Higher Education in the Twentieth Century. American Sociological Review, 70(6), 898–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shin, J., & Kehm, B. (2013). Institutionalization of World Class Universities in Global Competition. Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Slaughter, S., & Cantwell, B. (2012). Transatlantic Moves to the Market: The United States and the European Union. Higher Education, 63(5), 583–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Soares, J. (1999). The Decline of Privilege: The Modernization of Oxford University. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Stevens, M., Miller-Idriss, C., & Shami, S. (2018). Seeing the World: How US Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Strang, D., & Meyer, J. (1993). Institutional Conditions for Diffusion. Theory and Society, 22(4), 487–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Suárez, D. (2007). Education Professionals and the Construction of Human Rights Education. Comparative Education Review, 51(1), 48–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thelin, J. R., & Trollinger, R. W. (2014). Philanthropy and American Higher Education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Worth, M. J. (2002). New Strategies for Educational Fundraising. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations