University of North Carolina Convocation Speaker Calls for Intellectual Entrepreneurship

The News & Observer
October 24, 2004

The following passage comes from the prepared remarks delivered on October 12, 2004 by Dr. James H. Johnson Jr. during the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's annual University Day convocation. Johnson, a William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of management in UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School, discussed demographic trends and economic changes and how universities can best respond. This portion of Johnson's speech appeared in The News & Observer (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) October 24, 2004

In this passage, Johnson advocates that universities should become committed to "intellectual entrepreneurship." He borrows directly from the UT's IE program and vision of education.

Johnson indicates that UT's IE program and philosophy inform a new initiative at UNC, the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI), which is designed to infuse greater entrepreneurial content in the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Johnson's entire speech is at:

"In revising the curriculum to prepare students successfully, the University administration and faculty must develop an appreciation of and demonstrate a major commitment to what is known as "Intellectual Entrepreneurship" -- a form of structured engagement and commitment to developing concrete solutions to "problems of the world around us." It involves: creating synergistic relations among academic disciplines and intellectuals on and off campus to make seamless connections among disciplines and between the academy and the public and private sectors.

Intellectual entrepreneurship is about harnessing and productively utilizing intellectual energy and talent wherever it is located in order to promote academic, cultural, political, social, and economic change.

By developing and nurturing intellectual entrepreneurship, the University will teach students "not merely to understand the world, but to change it [through innovative and high impact applied or action-oriented research and outreach]."

This shift toward intellectual entrepreneurship, I contend, will enable the University to create the next and succeeding generations not only of traditional entrepreneurs in business venturing, but also social and civic entrepreneurs who are committed to using their entrepreneurial talents to make meaningful change in the nonprofit and government sectors."

The Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI)