OSU officials discuss the role of creativity at colleges, universities

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: November 17, 2010 at 12:23 am •  Published: November 17, 2010

Oklahoma State University official Michael Morris was greeted with some laughs Tuesday when he suggested universities should work to become more unreasonable places.

But he wasn't joking.

Morris, head of OSU's School of Entrepreneurship, told his audience at the 2010 Creativity World Forum that universities should produce more unreasonable students, staff and faculty.

That's because unreasonableness, to some degree, is at the heart of entrepreneurship, Morris said. He said entrepreneurs must be willing to take calculated risks.

“These are, at some level, unreasonable men and women,” Morris said.

Nearly 100 people packed inside a meeting room at the Cox Convention Center for the presentation, called “The Entrepreneurial University: An Emerging Model for the 21st Century.”

Morris, who is also the N. Malone Mitchell Chair in Entrepreneurship, used Oklahoma State University as an example of how other universities can encourage entrepreneurial behaviors and attitudes on campus.

A new survival mode

At a time when public colleges and universities are facing a variety of challenges, including competition from for-profit institutions and a decline in traditional funding sources, Morris said it is essential to embrace entrepreneurial thinking. He said students, staff, faculty and administrators should be encouraged to take calculated risks and capitalize on opportunities.

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