Of Course They Operate Like Businesses – They ARE Businesses

Source: Endowments Boom as Colleges Bury Earnings Overseas – The New York Times

I commented.

I’m a former math professor who taught at Washington U. in St. Louis. From my vantage point, It is a sad statement for our society that this article is news at all, but I do hope that it will wake readers to paying much more careful attention to how universities operate.

Here are observations from two of our greatest thinkers about higher education. They point out the real threat from the “business” model of higher education.

“…This shift…to student consumerism is one of the two greatest reversals of direction in all the history of American higher education..” (Clark Kerr)

“…advantage can…be taken of [students] by unscrupulous instructors and institutions…The “wants” of students to which competing institutions, departments, and individual faculty members cater are quite different from the “needs” of students…” (From On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism, 1980, by David Riesman)

For a deep dive into the bowels of academe, see my blog, inside-higher-ed . There you will read tales of how the student as “consumer” model drives American higher education – down; and

American higher education – down; and thus drives down American politics, society and all that is dependent upon an educated population.

This must be changed. With all of the money interests – from bankers to builders – that are now tied up with higher education, it will take an immense public effort to make that change. Readers can start by educating themselves.

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