In April 2007, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released a report, "Graduate Education: The Backbone of American Competitiveness and Innovation," at a forum held at the Library of Congress. Members of Congress and other stakeholders called for a renewed commitment to American graduate education, recognizing its critical role in enhancing the nation's economic competitiveness and innovation. The report was produced by a blue-ribbon advisory committee comprised of university presidents, corporate leaders, and graduate school deans.
Below is an excerpt from the CGS report which spotlights UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) initiative. A complete copy of the report is available at: http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/GR_GradEdAmComp_0407.pdf
"One of the most compelling challenges faced by research universities in the 21st century is the obligation to serve society. A 2004 NAS report called for increased commitment to interdisciplinary, socially relevant research, recognizing that today's social challenges require research solutions that challenge traditional disciplines and university structures. Increased commitment to socially relevant research and to the articulation of its public benefits may not only help to leverage academe's intellectual capital to the benefit of society; it might also attract more talented U.S. students who currently choose nonacademic paths to give back to their communities and society. A heightened commitment to socially relevant research may even improve the quality of graduate learning. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, 'Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.'"
"One model for advancing socially relevant research is the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program pioneered at the University of Texas at Austin. Students in the program are educated to become citizen scholars by using their skills and knowledge in a real-world setting and preparing for a career in all sectors of the economy. This program differs from typical community outreach and professional development initiatives in that it emphasizes cross-disciplinary scholarship and learning. The success of the IE program at the Austin campus derives from a critical group of faculty members who view themselves as citizen scholars-researchers who break the traditional boundaries between disciplines as well as between theoretical knowledge and the broader world."