ERIC Number: EJ773666
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul-13
Reference Count: N/A
Universities Must Not Ignore Intelligence Research
Zegart, Amy B.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n45 pB9 Jul 2007
At a time when intelligence agencies have never been more important, universities are teaching and studying just about everything else. In 2006 only four of the top 25 universities offered undergraduate courses on intelligence agencies or issues. Scholarly inattention is equally glaring in academic publishing. Between 2001 and 2006, the three most highly regarded academic journals in political science published a total of 750 articles. Only one discussed intelligence. At a time when intelligence issues have dominated headlines and policy-maker attention, the nation's best political scientists are studying other subjects. For political scientists, the benefits of studying intelligence are low. Degrees are awarded, grants are secured, tenure is achieved, and reputations are made by contributing to raging theoretical debates in cloistered fields, not addressing practical matters of broad public concern. At the same time, the costs of studying intelligence are extraordinarily high. Data are the lifeblood of academic research and, in the case of intelligence, are in very short supply. Enterprising academics certainly could overcome those barriers. But most never try because more attractive research topics are plentiful. Indeed, gathering information about U.S. intelligence issues and agencies requires the one thing in shortest supply for most academics: time. The ticking tenure clock creates strong incentives, particularly for junior faculty members, to focus on topics with data that are readily available so that publications can be churned out quickly. But in the absence of fact, fiction rules. While American universities have ignored intelligence agencies, Hollywood has embraced them. A well-informed public is the first and most important step both toward preventing abuses and protecting security. Research on intelligence agencies on university campuses is an important first step.
Descriptors: Universities, Scientists, Campuses, Tenure, Political Science, Intelligence, Faculty, Agencies, College Faculty
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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