The language of crisis is nothing new in higher education. In 1973 Clark Kerr, then Chairman of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, spoke at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education. Kerr cited recently published books on the state of the academy that included in their titles these descriptors: anarchy, bankruptcy, blindness, chaos, confrontation, crisis, death, degradation, destruction, embattlement, explosion, and fall.
How could a university such as Harvard—which enjoys such a leading worldwide brand and enormous advantages over other universities, including an endowment of nearly $28 billion (the value as of June 30, 2010), which is more than 60 percent higher than the next closest university endowment; perhaps the most talented research faculty in the world that makes constant contributions to society; an alumni community to which aspiring students dream of entering; and a nearly unparalleled physical plant that makes life on campus luxurious in comparison to that of other universities—possibly lose its preeminence?
Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education
America is in crisis. Employers say paradoxically they cannot find the right people to fill jobs even though the country is facing its highest unemployment rates in a generation. Competition with a rising China and India and their vast populations lend urgency to the need for the country as a whole to do a better job of educating its citizens.