Over the past 20 years, universities have been faced with sustained change, driven by external factors. This has led to the evolution of the teaching and research mission and the creation and rise of the third mission. Such mission extension has led to the emergence of entrepreneurial universities which has seen a move from traditional research and teaching business models, to business models which incorporate a much wider range of activities, to meet stakeholder demands as well as sustaining and growing universities in the era of intense national and international competition. This special issue extends knowledge by providing novel insights into the multidimensional antecedent contextual influences, consequences and implications of university mission expansion. We also provide a foundational research agenda which will help guide future research exploring the changing and expanding university missions and business models.