Printed in August of 2022.
Must you arrange and take part in a campus dialog about After the Ivory Tower Falls? Is it price amassing a gaggle of colleagues, scheduling a bodily and digital room, and scrounging up the funds to purchase everybody a duplicate? The solutions to all these questions are “sure.”
After the Ivory Tower Falls is a ebook we in academia needs to be partaking with. Bunch’s thesis that the deep political and cultural divisions that more and more outline the US may be traced to failures of upper schooling round entry, prices, debt, and relevance will make for an enchanting campus dialog.
Will studying and discussing After the Ivory Tower Falls present us inside greater schooling with any roadmap or actionable set of concepts for the way we would change our establishments for the higher? You’ll have to inform us how your ebook clubbing conversations go, however the probably reply is “probably not.” And that is too unhealthy, as After the Ivory Tower Falls is stuffed with penetrating insights concerning the worrisome arc of our postsecondary system throughout the final seven many years.
The truth that After the Ivory Tower Falls is written primarily for these exterior the academy isn’t a failing of this deeply researched and passionately argued ebook. I hope that readers come away satisfied that:
A) We should assist insurance policies and politicians dedicated to investing in public schools and universities, particularly neighborhood schools.
B) That an excessive amount of consideration is paid to elite schools and universities and that the true focus of upper schooling conversations needs to be on neighborhood schools and state establishments, the defunding of public schooling, and the $1.7 trillion greater ed debt disaster.
Nonetheless, I want Bunch’s reporting had surfaced a few of the points that these of us inside academia are debating right now as we attempt to confront challenges of pupil prices and entry whereas navigating vital structural demographic and funding challenges.
For example, whereas the ebook talks about for-profit schooling and its position within the pupil debt disaster, there’s nearly no evaluation of the expansion of non-profit/for-profit partnerships. The massive questions that many schools and universities are grappling with now need to do with the knowledge (and dangers) of working with on-line program administration (OPM) firms and for-profit on-line studying platform suppliers.
The reply as to whether schools and universities ought to or shouldn’t work with for-profit firms on on-line diploma and non-degree applications isn’t easy. For a lot of colleges, partnering with an organization resembling Coursera and edX/2U to supply new on-line applications is a part of an institutional technique to drive down learner prices and improve entry. That is very true of colleges working with companions to supply scaled low-cost diploma applications and a variety of different credential non-degree on-line programs.
One other theme left unexamined in After the Ivory Tower Falls are the efforts of schools and universities to advance studying and improve pupil assist. College students get themselves in probably the most bother with pupil debt once they fail to graduate. College efforts to boost retention charges and shorten the time to commencement have yielded uneven success. An evaluation of why the US schooling system appears to do a superb job of admitting college students however a poor job of graduating them would have been welcome on this ebook, as success tales and modern applications might have been highlighted.
Regardless of these greater ed insider critiques, I wish to stress that After the Ivory Tower Falls is a crucial and persuasive ebook. We needs to be speaking a few type of common nationwide service hole yr for all highschool graduates. And definitely, there are conversations we needs to be having on our campuses about what position the upper ed trade needs to be enjoying in coverage conversations associated to pupil debt.
The core thought of After the Ivory Tower Falls, that the Blue State / Purple State political divide is, in actuality, a rising chasm between those that accomplished faculty (38 %) and people who haven’t (everybody else), is undoubtedly price debating and sure internalizing.
We must always bear in mind our historical past of the consensus across the worth of upper schooling for everybody popping out of World Warfare II and the GI Invoice and do the whole lot we will to re-energize the concept faculty needs to be a public and never a non-public good.
What is critical, I feel, is for us to do the work to attach the large concepts of After the Ivory Tower Falls to issues that we will do at our establishments to develop entry and decrease the prices of a faculty schooling.
What are you studying?