Handbook of Universities and Regional Development
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Handbook of Universities and Regional Development

Edited by Attila Varga and Katalin Erdős

The Handbook on Universities and Regional Development offers a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into how academic institutions spur their surroundings. The volume sheds light on universities as regional development actors from a historical perspective by introducing institutional changes and discussing the interrelatedness of society, business and academia. It provides detailed investigations on various knowledge transfer mechanisms to help understand the diverse ways through which ideas and intellectual property can flow between universities and businesses. Detailed case studies from three continents (Europe, Asia, and America) demonstrate the highly contextual nature of the interactions between academia, industry and government.
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Chapter 2: A history of the American land-grant universities and regional development

Nathan M. Sorber


The Morrill Act of 1862 created the American land-grant universities and reshaped higher education in the United States. The legislation greatly expanded the number of public universities in the nineteenth century, creating the foundation of leading global universities like Cornell University, the University of California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Wisconsin. This chapter traces land-grant universities evolving role in national, state, and regional development from origins until today through four domains: the national development framework, the local development framework, the human capital framework, and emergent frameworks in an era of privatization and commercialization. The chapter highlights the critical role that land-grant teaching, research, and knowledge dissemination have had on economic development strategies in the United States.

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