Why is the university system in crisis? A central reason is the financial pressure put on colleges and universities by the “innovation economy,” pressure which has led to rising student debt, less personalized instruction, and growing research funding deficits. This lecture shows that the leading response at public universities to this pressure—large tuition increases and other attempts to replace public with private funds—has made the budget problem worse. Now that we are stuck with a failing public university funding model that no one would have designed on purpose, how do we fix it?
Christopher Newfield teaches American Studies in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His blog on the current crisis in higher education is called Remaking the University.