University business models “ripe for shaking”

July 13, 2011

An op-ed in the July 7 issue of The Economist is critical of universities’ “insatiable appetite for money,” praising Vance Fried’s calculations that a first-class undergrad education could be provided for just $6,700 a year, by separating the funding of research and teaching, increasing class sizes, eliminating small programs, and cutting administrative bloat. There are some signs across the US that colleges are taking the ideas seriously, abolishing tenure, merging academic departments, and making teaching “job one.” Other approaches might include accelerated programs, or open educational resources. Higher education incentives are skewed: “students pay to be taught, but their professors are rewarded almost entirely for research.”  The Economist