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Commercialization is not the problem

from Inside Higher Education

Nov. 23, 2010 issue: Encouraged by critics like Derek Bok, Gaye Tuchman, and Jennifer Washburn (who characterizes market forces and commercial values as "a foul wind has blown over the campuses" of our nation's universities) the commercialization hypothesis has been accepted, often without critical thought, by many members of the academy. They are not big fans of the business community to begin with, and it is convenient to assume our problems come from "outside agitators" like intrusive business people. We in higher education do have major problems with cost and quality, and they need fixing. But commercial forces are not the problem — our own internal practices are. A major factor in the persistence of our cost and quality problems is too much emphasis on public relations and too little emphasis on introspection. more


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