When Colleges Close… ?>

When Colleges Close…

The declining financial health of higher education has gotten me thinking about some of the hardest stories I wrote in my six years as a reporter and editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education: articles about colleges that went over the financial brink and closed. Visiting college campuses that were set to close was like visiting a terminally-ill patient who has not yet died. Everyone is moving stone-faced ahead with what needs to get done — assuring that students can…

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The Rise of the Machine — The Future of Higher Ed? ?>

The Rise of the Machine — The Future of Higher Ed?

We spend a lot of time imagining what the college of the future will look like and how it will respond to the needs of students. Two recent pieces helped fill in some aspects of the higher education picture I had not yet contemplated. Both are well worth your time. And a third article is vital reading for those in the middle of this meltdown: the faculty. “The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for…

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A Vision of The College of 2020 ?>

A Vision of The College of 2020

At the College of 2020 we spend a lot time blogging about what the future of higher education will look like – now I want to try to help you envision one potential view of the it. This is 2020 – while only 8 years from now, I believe the higher education landscape will look drastically different – primarily because of online content and mobile devices. I believe that a majority of higher education students will take at least 80%…

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What Can Higher Ed Learn from Healthcare Reform? ?>

What Can Higher Ed Learn from Healthcare Reform?

I am thinking of an industry that performs a vital public service with unlimited demand. But it is marked by cost increases that far outstrip inflation, extreme specialization, and a lack of coordination. Sounds familiar, right? But I am thinking of healthcare, not higher education. In many respects, reform of healthcare and higher education are proceeding on parallel tracks. Both are immense industries, with core products that are essential to well-being, heavily subsidized by the public, and entrapped by outdated…

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We Need More Truth Telling in Higher Education ?>

We Need More Truth Telling in Higher Education

A lot is being written about the future of higher education, but truth-telling about the current state of colleges and universities is still in short supply. So a book-length gathering of papers caught my attention — for the breathless way it skewered current practices. Here are some outtakes: Rather than embracing innovations that have swept over the rest of the economy, boosting productivity, lowering prices, and improving quality, most colleges and universities have chosen to batten down the hatches, raise…

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The Industrialization of Education: Guest Post by Bill Sams ?>

The Industrialization of Education: Guest Post by Bill Sams

(This post is by Bill Sams, a Commissioner on the eTech Ohio Commission and an Executive in Residence at Ohio University. Bill has written and spoken on the transformation of education for several years and recently has produced two videos on the subject: EPIC 2020 and 2012, The Tipping Point.) Certainly in the United States a case can be made that the traditional education system at both the public school and higher education levels is a failure. With the United…

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The Perpetual Half-Price Sale on College Tuition ?>

The Perpetual Half-Price Sale on College Tuition

The number of issues bedevilling colleges right now is staggering. But if we were to trace the issue where higher education lost the support of the public, it would be tuition. Think about all the conversations you have about college — don’t most of them begin with price? Who can afford college? Why has it gotten so expensive? How will I ever save enough to send my kids to college? “It’s outrageous these institutions have the audacity to charge so…

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Cost-cutting: Who Will Tell the Faculty? ?>

Cost-cutting: Who Will Tell the Faculty?

A few weeks ago, at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, there were numerous presentations by universities about cutting costs, paring back administrative bloat, and how to plan communications strategies for assuring that everyone understands why cost-cutting is needed. “Is the faculty involved?” was a recurring question. In most cases, administrators dissembled, and said they were working their way up to bringing in the faculty. It is no surprise that administrators don’t want…

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The Wild West of Coursera and Free Online Content ?>

The Wild West of Coursera and Free Online Content

Teaching the world 150,000 people at a time, just feels so intimate. A few weeks ago I started taking a class on Coursera from The University of Michigan, both because I am interested in the topic, as well as I had yet to take a Coursera course (more on that in a minute). In the first video presentation of the class the instructor welcomed all of the students and said while there are a lot of students signed up, he…

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