The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: M.S.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Christine Imbra

Second Advisor

Frances Kayona

Third Advisor

Kurt Helgeson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Keywords and Subject Headings

Intellectual Property, University-Industry, Collaborative Research, Patent Disclosures, Contract Language


Interactions and collaborations between research universities and industry have a potential to provide significant benefits to both. For universities, these interactions and collaborations can bring additional revenues through license fees or additional research funds, promote economic development in their community, test the practical application of their research, allow for the input of industry on the research, create internships and employment opportunities for students, and-in general-further the research, education, and outreach aspects of their mission. For industry, university interactions and collaborations offer the potential of access to intellectual property (IP) to commercialize, research results that can shape their research and development agenda, faculty and students, students for internships and jobs, and allows for the supporting of basic research (Lee, 2000).

The problem university administrators face is how to facilitate these • university-industry collaborations. One means is active engagement. Active engagement brings multiple faculty members together with multiple members of industry to work on a focused area of technology within a research consortia. While the concept of a research consortia is almost universally of interest when described to industry, getting companies to join the consortia is difficult. The stumbling block is often how IP, if it is generated, will be shared.

The focus of the study was the examination one aspect of the IP sharing stumbling block, which is the impact of intellectual property regulatory language on university-industry collaborative research. This causal-comparative study explores the impact of intellectual property contract language on the development of patented research, paper publication, industrial research funding, and graduate students supported at the University of California Santa Cruz Storage Systems Research Center (UC SSRC) and the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center Intelligent Storage Consortium (UM DISC).

The hypothesis of the study was that consortia without IP language in their consortia agreements are more successful than those with IP language. Success, for the purpose of this study, was measured by the number of patent disclosures, research papers produced, amount of industrial research funding, number of graduate students supported, and a measurement of direct industry participation in the consortium.

The findings indicated that UC SSRC, which does not have IP language in its member agreement, was more successful than UM DISC in terms of publications, industrial research expenditures, and graduate research assistants supported. In each of these areas, UC SSRC out performed UM DISC. In one area, number of patents produced, both had the same result. No patents were issued for either.

The results of this study will be applied to the industrial collaboration models used by the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center (DTC). In particular, it will result in the recommendation that a hybrid approach to university-industry active engagement be developed which would allow industrial partners to join a consortium and share in the IP, join the consortium through a gift, or purchase the services of the consortium for a specific project with IP ownership transferred to the industrial partner.


I wish to acknowledge the support of the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center (DTC) and Professor Andrew M. Odlyzko, its Director. Without his willingness to accommodate my pursuing this degree, and-where applicableallowing me access to DTC data, I would not have been able to undertake this thesis or the degree. In addition to Professor Odlyzko's support, I would like acknowledge the support ofmy colleagues at the University of Minnesota: Jim Clausen, Cory Devor, Jim Licari, Ann Nordling, and Dick Westerlund. Their willingness to listen, comment, and cajole, as I wrote this thesis and sprinted my way through the program helped me immeasurably.

I also wish to acknowledge the support and guidance of my fellow Higher Education Administration graduate students who accepted me as a peer and gave me constant support and encouragement. In particular, I wish to acknowledge my "thesis support group" made up ofTzong Chang, Chris Lepkowski, Angie O'Hara, and Erin Truhler. I also wish to recognize the current and former Saint Cloud State University faculty who played a central role in guiding me through this process: Dr. Tamara Arnott, Dr. Kurt Helgeson, Dr. Frances Kayona, and my advisor, Dr. Christine Imbra.


It is with the deepest gratitude that I dedicate this thesis to my daughters Gretchen and Emma. If they hadn't cleared the path, the road would have been closed. I also wish to dedicate this work to my mother, Verla Olesen, who has been a beacon of support to me and my family. This thesis is the end of the journey we both started in 1962 when my father, Robert Olesen, entered graduate school. I am firm in my belief that he would have been proud ofus both.

And finally, I wish to dedicate this thesis to my wife Margaret. My pursuit of this degree was born of a necessity that neither of us could have contemplated or would have wished for in 1979. But that does not detract from the joint accomplishment that it represents.



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