|Richard DeMillo (Wikipedia)|
|Apple II Plus computer. (Wikipedia)|
He started out by saying that "Traditional American universities are no longer the gatekeepers." I loved hearing this because most of the hand wringing I hear and read about MOOCs are about getting the model to work in such a way that traditional colleges don't have to change. Or how to redefine MOOCs to preserve the gatekeeper function. "Traditional universities are the incumbents.." He compares where universities are with newspapers. We are still using a 100 year old model of higher education that was created for a different population with different needs. He says that experiments in higher ed stopped 50 years ago. There has only been one new research university since the turn of the century.
He discussed "Three Tiers" of education institutions - Elite (70 - 75), Middle (1000's), Proprietary (100's). This model has been keeping the costs up for education. Pew found that the current model is non-sustainable. The economic realities include:
- Higher education is a multi-sided market (many stake-holders with competing needs, portfolio of services, they are a platform)
- Bypass economies (Services are desired by many, affordable by few.)
- In a marketplace with many alternatives, the only way to survive is to have
- Unassailable brand (only the Elites have global brands)
- Best price (the Middle wastes money)
- Best value proposition (the Middle has misjudged its value)
How do the Middle colleges waste money?
- Sponsored research is usually viewed as a way to expand the bottom line. A research university often spends two dollars for every one they get in sponsored research.
- The way that we view capital plants - spending a million dollars on climbing walls in dorms
- Intercollegiate athletics saps the moral and financial strength of the institution.