This is a short post. My son tells me it is the weekend.
Why is it bad to commodify university-based knowledge? That is, why do we feel that there is a moral problem with it? For me, I'd describe the feeling as "ick".
Firstly, many people, including me, think commodification in intrinsically a problem: it reduces things - knowledge - to exchange value.
Secondly, there are a range of reasons why commodification is especially a problem in universities. They relate to some traditional values associated with what goes on in them:
1. Education as a right of citizenship. (This has not always, to all people, extended to higher education.)
2. Teaching as gift-giving
3. Academic work as gift-culture (in that knowledge is shared freely often unconnected to financial remuneration)
4. Knowledge as its own reward - in liberal education tradition it has intrinsic value
5. Research as independent and disinterested - with no regard for personal gain (which is a result of knowledge is its own reward)
"There's plenty of money out there. They print more and more every day. ... Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?" (Grandpa George, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)