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Examining the Normative Operations of Nonprofit Academic Centers

Benjamin J. Lough


This paper reflects an environmental scan of the activities of existing nonprofit academic centers affiliated with NACC. It summarizes the findings from nine field visits to nonprofit centers, a content analysis of 55 center websites, and follow-up interviews with select center administrators. By comparing the normative operations of legitimized peer centers across their educational, research, and service missions, this research helps to articulate norms whereby new and extant nonprofit centers can legitimize their work. In addition, findings can be used as a road map to inform the future regulatory landscape for nonprofit academic centers. Discussions examine the positive and negative implications of using these findings for purposes of legitimacy and regulation.

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nonprofit; education

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