In this paper, we look at the way the state has helped shape the climate for the commercialization of science in a public university, and at how this has shaped the terms of professional labor for faculty. We examine patent policies of a public research university and of its Board of Regents, and the relevant state statutes from 1969-1989. Policies and statutes moved from an ideology that defined the public interest as best served by shielding public entities from involvement in the market, to one that saw the public interest as best served by public organizations' involvement in commercial activities. Claims to the ownership and rewards of intellectual property shifted dramatically in that time, from faculty owning their products and time to complete ownership by the institution. The contract between the university and faculty became increasingly formalized and specified. We believe that such developments augur significant changes in professional labor and in the relationship between the state and higher education. Such changes can best be understood from a post-structuralist perspective that moves beyond the structural dichotomies of public and private, state and higher education administrator and professional, and points to new forms of organization and of professional stratification and interest formation.
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