SOCIAL SCIENCES

University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education

Melville House. Oct. 2018. 299p. notes. index. ISBN 9781612196916. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781612196923. ED
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Much has been written recently about cuts in funding for public institutions of higher education (Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier's Austerity Blues; Christopher Newfield's The Great Mistake). This title illustrates another troubling consequence of these losses: the entry of wealthy corporations offering much-needed dollars that come with serious strings attached. Journalist Hunt (New York Times; The New Yorker) became interested in the long-standing relationship between Nike and the University of Oregon while reporting on a sexual assault case. This book traces the development of the Nike brand and how its success has influenced the university for better (championship teams and state-of-the-art facilities) and for worse (stipulating hiring and firing of personnel and fostering a culture of secrecy). By blending these histories and the surge in profitability of college athletics, Hunt offers a warning about the dangers of overreliance on corporate contributions in educational spheres.
VERDICT This work will have broad general appeal, particularly with parents of children approaching college age and those interested in corporate strategy or the state of American higher education.

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