From The Strengths of the Academic Enterprise
The Buxton Index of an entity, i.e. person or organization, is defined as the length of the period, measured in years, over which the entity makes its plans.
For the little grocery shop around the corner it is about 1/2,for the true Christian it is infinity, and for most other entities it is in between: about 4 for the average politician who aims at his re-election, slightly more for most industries, but much less for the managers who have to write quarterly reports. The Buxton Index is an important concept because close co-operation between entities with very different Buxton Indices invariably fails and leads to moral complaints about the partner. The party with the smaller Buxton Index is accused of being superficial and short-sighted, while the party with the larger Buxton Index is accused of neglect of duty, of backing out of its responsibility, of freewheeling, etc.. In addition, each party accuses the other one of being stupid. The great advantage of the Buxton Index is that, as a simple numerical notion, it is morally neutral and lifts the difference above the plane of moral concerns. The Buxton Index is important to bear in mind when considering academic/industrial co-operation.
To begin with, there is the great difference in Buxton Index. For industry, the Buxton Index is less than 10, probably closer to 4 or 5, whereas for the academic scientist the Buxton Index is closer to, say, 50, for what you offer your students should last a lifetime, their lives, to be precise.