Pruning The Ivy: The Overdue Reformation of Higher Education Ebook
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Higher education in America is the best in the world, but it is also desperately in need of reform. Lacking effective competition and insulated from market forces, universities have created a model fundamentally at odds with free market principles. In a system few outsiders comprehend, universities uniquely are run for the benefit of faculty. Increasingly, top universities have come to resemble closed academic societies. Admission is by way of a Ph.D. degree. Mastery of abstract research for its own sake is the route to promotion and advancement. Teaching is of incidental importance for tenure – the goal of every academic. Achieving tenure assures long-term employment without mandatory retirement plus freedom from inhibitions on speech or actions. Faculty share governance with an administration although faculty lack managerial skills or responsibility for their recommendations. Politically conformist, faculty think one way and recruit newcomers who think alike. Given time, institutions that do not attract strong leaders or demand accountability from faculty are destined to underperform. Cracks in the seams of the current system are emerging in out-of-control costs and greater competition. Lacking normal measures of efficiency or productivity, universities’ costs tend to spiral higher- with future escalation a given. The trends are clear but not yet ominous. Without reform, America’s universities are coasting. Can reforms take hold before a crisis is reached? Only if strong voices demand it. Reform from universities that are characterized by intellectual inbreeding and self-regulation cannot be expected. Assuring future generations of a quality education is the collective responsibility and duty of the citizenry. Based on an inside-out view of universities, this book provides the ammunition for such a campaign. It provides the information and stimulus for reform for legislators, community leaders, academics and average citizens.
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