Jan. 26, 2006 - In an effort to create a common approach to entrepreneurial education across all universities, a leading organization for entrepreneurship is bringing university leaders together to set a plan. The first meeting of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education was held January 17.

Nine university deans, from California-Berkeley, MIT, Duke, and Stanford, among others, were asked by Kansas City, Mo.-based Kauffman Foundation to come up with standards for an entrepreneurial curriculum in response to a growing demand for educational opportunities at the undergraduate level.

During its first meeting, the panel discussed "what should be taught, by whom, and in what matter," said Judith Cone, vice president of the Kauffman Foundation. The nine deans involved in the panel were invited by Kauffman to participate because of their clout and influence in their academic and professional work, according to Cone.

"Our goal is to build a comprehensive approach to building programs using the best practices and approaches. To instill practice not to develop a study of entrepreneurship as an intellectual field of inquiry," said George McLendon, Ph.D. who is the dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Duke University.

This general entrepreneurship education course will include a broad set of principles and practices that any student can benefit from, regardless if they go to a well-funded private university or a small state school.

The study of entrepreneurship is relatively new to higher education. In September 2005,Inc."> Jerome Katz, a researcher at St. Louis University told Inc. that entrepreneurship programs brought in a quarter of a billion dollars in gifts between 2000 and 2003. Entrepreneurship education is so hot right now that schools are struggling to hire professors and endowed chairs can remain vacant for years.

"Despite impressive gains in the numbers and quality of courses over the past 20 years, entrepreneurship education still lives mostly on the fringes of academe, not in the mainstream," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation in a prepared statement. "Our goal is to change so that entrepreneurship is a legitimate, full-fledged field of study."

The nine deans participating in the panel represent schools of liberal arts, engineering, science, and business education. The panel will meet several times during the next year via video conferencing- next meeting is scheduled for April.