Drawing on extensive reporting in China, India, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, Wildavsky chronicles the unprecedented international mobility of students and faculty, the rapid spread of branch campuses, the growth of for-profit universities, and the remarkable international expansion of college rankings. Some university and government officials see the rise of worldwide academic competition as a threat, going so far as to limit student mobility or thwart cross-border university expansion. But Wildavsky argues that this scholarly marketplace is creating a new global meritocracy, one in which the spread of knowledge benefits everyone--both educationally and economically.
This book uncovers how the traditional university survives by breaking with tradition, but thrives by building on what it's done best.
Written for everyone who is interested in and concerned about the nation's public universities, The Future of the Public University in America offers a view from the perspective of two experienced professionals. James J. Duderstadt, former president of the University of Michigan, and Farris W. Womack, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of the University of Michigan, explore the unique challenges facing public higher education today. They look at the forces driving change—economic imperatives, technology, and market forces—as well as the characteristics of the public university that make change difficult: the nature of its various campus communities, its governance system, its management and decision-making processes, and its leadership. The authors conclude by suggesting strategies at the state and federal level to preserve and strengthen public higher education as a resource for future generations.