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Like Nobody’s Business

Andrew C. Comrie


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1I opened this book by saying that universities are fascinating institutions; I also posited that there is plenty of common knowledge on campuses about how their academic wheels turn, and that there is much written about managing people, but that an appreciation and understanding about how the money works in and around colleges and universities is not widespread and sometimes borders on the mythical. I hope I have shown you, gentle reader, that the business of universities and their financing can be as fascinating as almost any other question that these institutions address. Certainly, if you’ve made it from the introduction to this point, your understanding of how the money works is miles ahead of most people in and around a campus.

2I want to stress that, although this book is all about money and the business of the university, I am most certainly not a proponent of a “corporate” university run as if it were a conventional business. Despite the absolute necessity for the academy to be focused on asking and answering the big questions and the teaching thereof, I am also, as you’ve seen, under no illusions that a contemporary US campus can exist as an intellectual collective that ignores financial realities. It is precisely this tension, in which we simultaneously seek Truth and underwrite that quest by providing access to the American dream through education, that makes our many colleges and universities so fascinating.

3In closing, I trust I have provided you with valuable and practical insights into the multiplicity of funding flows and financial relationships that sustain our marvelous institutions of learning, showing you along the way how the money really works in and around them—how they function and grow, in all connotations of the saying, like nobody’s business.


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