Universities and the Military
how does your university tie in?

The University-Industrial-
Academic Complex:

Institutional and Interpersonal Links

University Profiles

The Baskin Study:
Military Research at UC Santa Cruz

Research Guide:
How to find out what your
university is up to.

 

 

 

 

 

The University-Industrial-Academic Complex:
Institutional and Interpersonal Links within the Military Enterprise and the University

The militarization of universities is not exclusively pursued by forces outside the boundaries of campuses. Many members of the university community have intimate connections to the military industrial complex, as do university finances. Universities, like any other institutions in our society, are enmeshed in the economic, social, and political realms. They are affected by political decision making, and governmental needs, and they are inseparable from the corporations and businesses that fund them and feed from them.

The scale to which universities are tied into businesses, and political power is beyond measure. All that may suffice here is a qualitative explanation of the links. Much of work that universities provide for the production of war is also to their own financial benefit, and to the benefit of many within the university including, faculty, administrators, especially members of the board of trustees, or regents. Universities are like any other institution within the framework of our competitive society, they seek to grow by expanding their power, prestige, and size.

Under the militarized form of society, universities seek out and ally themselves with the institutions and people who can provide the funds and resources for expansion. These structures are what will be referred to here as institutional links - (those between the university and another institution: i.e. corporation, government, or NGO), and personal links (individuals who are active within the university, who also belong(ed) to another institution(s) making the individual an informal link between the two).

Institutional Links

Literally any official and cooperative link between a university and another organization fulfills the criteria of being an institutional link. When the Department of Energy funds the University of California to manage the labs and provide the scientists who research and design new nuclear weapons, this is an institutional link. When a corporation, or the Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security sponsor research, or provide general funds for the support of activities on any university campus, this is an institutional link. When recruiters access a college campus through job fairs or events it is an institutional link. However, there is an important category of militarized support that the concept of institutional linkage lends itself to in an explanative and expository way.