This paper explores the major factors underlying public-private partnership formation in university settings and proposes a framework of "institutional readiness" for engaging in such efforts. That framework joins theoretical perspectives with a case study experience of the California State University. The basic premise is that the single most important contributor to success is preparation or readiness by the university prior to the initiation of a partnership. Public institutions must change in fundamental ways before courting private partners, not during or after that process has begun. The authors present one means for performing that assessment, gauging the institution's capacity for a successful partnership, and identifying what the university should be prepared to do.
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