The Synthetic University: How Higher Education Can Benefit from Shared Solutions and Save Itself (Hardcover)

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A bold, collaborative vision for combatting the ever-rising cost of college

US colleges and universities have long been the envy of the world. Institutional autonomy has fostered creativity among faculty, students, and staff. But this autonomy means that colleges tend to create their own solutions for every need. As a result, higher education suffers from costly redundancies that drive tuitions ever higher, putting higher education, essential to the fabric of the country, at risk. Instead of wishful thinking for collaboration or miraculous subsidies, The Synthetic University describes intermediary organizations that can provide innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Offering answers to challenges jointly faced by thousands of institutions, James Shulman lays out a compelling new vision to reduce spending while enabling schools to maintain their particular contributions. He lays out why colleges are so resistant to change and presents illuminating case studies of mission-driven and market-supported entrepreneurial organizations--such as the student tracking infrastructure of the National Student Clearinghouse or the ambitious effort of classics professors to create a shared trans-institutional department. Mixing theory with lessons drawn from his own experience, he demonstrates how to finance and implement the organizations that can synthesize much-needed solutions.

A road map for sustained institutional change, The Synthetic University shows how to overcome campuses' do-it-yourself impulses, avoid the threat of disruption, and preserve the institutions that we need to conduct basic research, foster innovation, and prepare diverse students to lead meaningful and productive lives.

About the Author

James L. Shulman is vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Learned Societies. He collaborated with William G. Bowen and Derek Bok on The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions and is the author (with William G. Bowen) of The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values (both Princeton).
Product Details
ISBN: 9780691190990
ISBN-10: 0691190992
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English