Little advances in free-market entrepreneurship among universities always make my heart go pitter-patter. It's like seeing a man sling off his leg braces at a church revival and start jitterbugging down the aisle to the collection plate. I don't doubt the process is much different, in fact -- some university provost or president attends a management seminar or reads a business book, has an epiphany about how people might actually -- just maybe, who woulda thunk it -- be self-interested problem-solvers, and the next thing you know he's spreading the gospel of incentives, or streamlined authorization processes, or continuous improvement.
Then, likely as not, no matter how he soft-peddles and tiptoes, no sooner does he breathe "incentivize" than the high-strung territorial hens who are his faculty and staff stir themselves up into a shrieking frenzy, and the next thing you know, people who have feuded for 20 years over who gets the office with the fewest rain-soaked ceiling tiles are joining arms and singing The Internationale.
A university has to baby-step to markets, is all I'm saying. This is why I read with interest in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) that Kent State will soon pay over $2 million in bonuses to 800-plus faculty members, based on increases in freshman retention, research grants, and fundraising.