Which colleges are really to blame for the $1 trillion worth of student debt America holds? The worst offenders are probably for-profit colleges. The real source of America's student debt problem, however, is the country's public colleges and universities.
Can students really be taught critical thinking, civics, and citizenship skills in a standardized format that values conformity? Will relying on MOOCs and automation in the long-term turn professors into "delivery managers" and students into automatons and passive consumers rather than citizens?
Anticipating my reaction to leaving the campus that I had been leading for 13 years, the provost said, "No, you're not leaving Delhi. We want you to be president of both campuses." This unconventional move was inspired by a mandate across SUNY to do more with less.
The excitement that typically surrounds college acceptance letters coming into households around the country is now being tempered by more than a little trepidation. The cost of college combined with a troubled economy means tough choices for prospective students.
Since the 1970s the share of the costs of a public college education funded by the taxpayer has dropped precipitously. Now it is typical for state appropriations to cover only 20 percent or less of the actual cost of education in a public university.
As some expensive private colleges compete to fill their seats and cash-strapped public colleges look for ways to handle more students, today's emerging providers will get a second look by college leaders and students seeking quality alternatives.
For the twenty years that I have been at the University of California, the system has steadily squeezed undergraduate instruction because it couldn't spend its resources on small scale forms of active learning.