Corporate Sponsored Education: The Limits Of Social Responsibility

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Corporate Sponsored Education: The Limits Of Social Responsibility

ABSTRACT: The business sector increasingly subsidizes financially challenged institutions. Representative examples would include health care, major sports arenas, and penal facilities. Among the recent beneficiaries of corporate largesse are schools. Such assistance blurs social roles and raises serious moral concerns, especially those of moral agency. Education, more so than other social institutions, determines the kind of citizen and moral character a person can become. Put differently, education operates on virtue development that may override the fiscal logic of profit-maximization practiced by corporations. In this paper I argue that whatever benefit received by
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In many locations, there is an added incentive of tax relief for a business to remain in a community. Events over the past several years prompt revisiting social responsibility of corporations such as the thousands of unemployed as a result of downsizing; maladjusted auto air bags injuring and killing infant passengers; tobacco industry's covering up addictive chemicals used in the production of cigarettes; Prudential Securities inflating the cost of stock for personal profits; and discriminatory hiring and promotions at Texaco Oil. Although these are reasons for recasting the terms of the contract to prohibit business activities that are unambiguously injurious, there may also be good reasons for restricting positive duties of corporations in society that are ambiguously beneficient. For while some corporations have breached the contract, others have embarked on projects that manifest a concern about the cultural and educational endeavors of institutions. It is not unusual to hear of corporate sponsorship of musical events, theatrical performances, scholarships, research grants, and the latest trend, providing sufficient subsidy that earns companies the right to have their name on sports arenas and stadiums (Boston's Fleet Center, Buffalo's Marine Midland Center, and Montreal's Molson Center). This gesture of civic good will has intensified as it extends to an institution upon which the influence may not be so
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