Colleges at the Crossroads: Taking Sides on Contested Issues (2018)

Higher education is so much of an expected right that undergraduate students have become mass consumers. Colleges and universities have sold their services and educational opportunity to students as part of this expected right under pressures to meet their bottom-line, therefore further enabling the consumerism of higher education. Accordingly, higher education has evolved from a privilege to a right into simply a product. This has given rise to academic capitalism as the colleges and universities have become increasingly entrepreneurial in order to cope with decreased state allocations. In the face of increasing student consumerism and academic capitalism, higher education continues to cope with difficult times.

 

This change marks a transformation as today’s colleges take on a radically different primary function, i.e., academic capitalism. Furthermore, this dramatic shift has established an existential moment in the emerging historical narrative of higher education in that this new primary function and purpose is being questioned. This text will seek to explore and provide voice to the “true” university in the exploration of its historical and contemporary functions.  This text will utilize dichotomous lenses to examine the “pro” and “con” side of significant transitions plaguing and deconstructing the bricks of tradition within the Ivy Tower.

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