Higher Ed

A directory of posts on systemic change in higher education, with most recent at the top:

Thorstein Veblen Was Right? — Evidence of a deterioration in working conditions in academia; 23 May 2022.

Do We Want Universities? — Problems with the British government’s plans for higher education; 1 March 2022.

The More Things Change . . . — We are mid-way through the massive structural transformation of higher education in the USA; 21 February 2022.

Adventures in Half-Baked Thinking — The UK’s Office of Students’ push to commodify learning; 25 January 2022.

Holiday Greetings 2021 — Annual holiday review of small colleges and universities at risk of closure; 27 December 2021.

The Wheels Are Coming Off — Opinion essay on the disintegration of a regional public comprehensive university; 20 December 2021.

Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide — Book review; 4 October 2021.

When the Medium Becomes the Message — Disciplinary norms disincentivize curricular technological innovation; 29 March 2021.

Winter of Discontent — rundown of some colleges and universities whose financial situations have been in the news, 22 February 2021.

Where Do We Go From Here? — Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends in higher education; 2 November 2020.

Caveat Emptor — Academic labor market worsens; 21 September 2020.

When the Sky Falls — Failure of the business model that relies on auxiliary revenue generated by the “college experience”; 25 May 2020.

Back to Basics — Will responses to the pandemic lead to permanent transformation of higher ed; 4 April 2020.

The Business of Small Colleges — Business degree programs are no longer enough to keep struggling institutions afloat; 17 June 2019.

Another One Bites The Dust (#2) — College of New Rochelle headed for extinction; 23 February 2019.

That Giant Sucking Sound — closure of Green Mountain College and Oregon College of Art and Craft; 14 February 2019.

Happy Holidays 2018 — a ranked list of some of the smaller colleges and universities where operational expenses per undergraduate student have climbed to dangerous levels; 24 December 2018.

The Death Spiral — update on financially-troubled Iowa Wesleyan University; 19 November 2018.

Look At Those Deck Chairs — more on systemic change in higher education; 21 May 2018.

Dying Colleges — snapshot of four institutions with large declines in enrollment; 10 August 2017.

The Tyranny of Small Numbers at Intermediate Scale — constraints on the curriculum generated by a small, finite enrollment; 22 March 2017.

The Inverted U-Curve of College Prep — how the information disconnect between admissions and faculty harms students and universities; 29 January 2017.

Mills College: When the Bus Leaves the Station and You’re Not On It — Mills College tries to save itself by competing in a market that it has already lost; 24 July 2017.

Is Your Employer in Trouble? Part 4 — decline in the number of conferred humanities and social science degrees and what it means; 10 July 2017.

Is Your Employer in Trouble? Part 3 — schools often exhibit danger signs for years (link to Inside Higher Ed article); 14 June 2017.

Coming to America — structure of the U.S. higher education system; explained for non-U.S. academics; 8 June 2017.

Beating the Dead Horse — update on ITT Tech; 6 September 2016.

ITT Educational Services: R.I.P. — ITT Tech’s imminent demise; 27 August 2016.

The Death of For-Profits — accreditor of for-profit universities killed by the Department of Education; 26 June 2016.

Another One Bites The Dust — Burlington College closes; 16 May 2016.

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Academics — labor market for academics in certain fields remains terrible, especially for women; 20 March 2016.

Holiday Greetings — College of Saint Rose fires ten percent of its full-time faculty and Burlington College remains on the brink of closure; 23 December 2015.

Higher Education Economics — financial aid to students varies inversely to need; 9 September 2015.

Is Your Employer In Trouble? Part 2 — an analysis of retention rates at selected New England colleges and universities; 6 September 2015.

Marian Court College: Closed — a small college has no market; 3 July 2015.

This Just In . . . Again — the dual labor market in academia; 4 May 2015.

Is Your Employer In Trouble? — an analysis of enrollment management and draw rates at small New England colleges and universities; 3 April 2015.

Sweet Briar College Announces Closure — declining enrollment coupled with an increasing discount rate renders a small rural college financially unsustainable. Also a link to a radio interview with Kevin Carey, author ofThe End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere; 3 March 2015.

The Chasm of Ignorance — The lack of information increases the vulnerability of small colleges and universities; 27 February 2015.

Happy Holidays from the Emerald City — Recent shenanigans at a variety of colleges and universities; 11 December 2014.

Yet Another Note To Prospective Graduate Students — One of several posts of the “just don’t go” (to grad school) genre, 5 October 2014.

Innovation? What Innovation? — Structural incentives of traditional higher education  inhibit teaching innovation; 21 September 2014.

Bird Flu — Lebanon College shuts down and Burlington College will soon follow; 25 August 2014.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul for Higher Education — New studies point to cost advantages and a lack of negative pedagogical consequences when traditional content is moved online; 24 July 2014.

Everyday Economics — as the quality of free educational content from providers like Marginal Revolution University continues to increase, so does the number of people who use it; 4 July 2014.

Birds of a Feather — Wilberforce University and Corinthian Colleges, two very different higher education institutions, have both collapsed; 2 July 2014.

When Your College Is a Poor Indebted Country and There’s No IMF Bailout — Students expected to pay for the massive increase in institutional debt to fund non-academic campus amenities; 5 June 2014.

Freemium Education for All — Post-secondary education will develop a tiered pricing system, with free content at the bottom and the traditional four-year bachelor’s degree at the top; 26 April 2014.

Restless Natives — Technology companies that sell learning are very different from universities that use technology; 1 April 2014.

The Plot Thickens — Colleges and universities are reliant upon a narrative that is no longer compelling; 17 March 2014.

Delta Blues — Increased student support services staffing has erased savings from the shift to part-time faculty; 5 February 2014.

For Whom the Bell Tolls — Demographic problems for a small college in America’s heartland; 25 January 2014.

The Economy of Mediocrity — Ubiquity of no-cost digital content incentivizes mediocrity, 3 November 2013.

Our Buildings are Empty, but They are New and Shiny — unnecessary campus construction financed by debt damages the Pennsylvania State System for Higher Education; 27 October 2013.

When Free Is Not Free — Inequities in how the value of academic work is calculated; 16 October 2013.

Banana Split Without the Bowl — Udacity and using scalable technologies to transform learning; 12 October 2013.

Coming Attractions — Only half of traditional universities will continue to exist in their current form in twenty years; 3 October 2013.

In a Theater Near You — Demographic trends in the USA will force universities to change curricula and recruitment strategies; 28 September 2013.

Writing in 4D — A less expensive and more productive learning experience outside the university; 27 September 2013.

Interactivity — Scalable and affordable learning communities online; 30 July 2013.

More on the College-Employer Mismatch — Graduates lack skills in demand by employers; 30 June 2013.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed — The bad advice that professors give students about grad school, 14 April 2013 .

Anti-Fragile Universities — Many universities are at risk; 10 June 2013.

Being Trained for the Technological Dustbin of History — Undergraduate education is not keeping pace with workplace innovation; 18 February 2013.

Higher Ed’s Cost Disease — Online instruction may be a much cheaper alternative to traditional universities with outcomes that are just as good; 3 February 2013.

Trouble, Trouble, Toil, and Bubble — Technological pressure on universities and possible responses; 7 January 2013.

How Many Ways to Skinner a Cat? — The Fordist approach to education is obsolete; 5 January 2013.

Education Now Reinforces Class Differences — Higher education is not a meritocracy; 23 December 2012.

We Ain’t Got No Badges — Competency-based bachelor’s degree programs; 16 November 2012.

Jumping On the MOOC Train — Students’ superior return on investment from online instruction; 18 July 2012.

The eBay of Education — Online platforms for higher education; 17 July 2012.

Political Scientists: Marching Toward Oblivion? — University faculty are no longer the sole repositories of rare and valuable information; 28 May 2012.

How Soon Is Now: The End of the University as We Know It — The university as we know it is headed for extinction; 13 May 2012.

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