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This is fascinating stuff. Of course, higher ed has been a big money game for a long time, billions and billions of dollars. It has managed to hide a lot of that economic activity under the guise of "non-profit" and budgets that are utterly obfuscating... but billions of dollars are billions of dollars no matter how you label them - the idea that there is now going to be serious commercial competition should not really come as a surprise to anyone (no matter the "sacred" regard some people, esp. faculty, may have for the traditional institutions of higher ed). I worry about lack of awareness on the part of faculty - if you run down the right hand-column in +George Siemens ' very helpful table there and were to ask faculty to summarize their knowledge of and state their opinions about the corporate ventures listed there, I think we would be able to see that we are really in trouble: faculty are not going to be able to provide meaningful input on a topic about which they are poorly informed. If we are going to move beyond the mono-voice that Siemens so accurately characterizes (e.g. The conference was mono-voiced. During the cocktail reception, someone asked me what I thought of the summit so far. I replied “very interesting, some great ideas, but there was a lot of crap that I need to call out and bitch about”. He seemed offended that I could think anything other than puppies, unicorns, meadows, rainbows, and sunshine about such a wonderful event ...), then faculty are going to have to step up to the bat here and realize that what held true for much of the 20th century is not necessarily going to hold true for the 21st. IMHO.
+George Siemens you rule. This was a fantastic overview of the ASU Innovation Summit - not only of the event, but of the total landscape today. Many educators have expressed similar feelings about the huge amounts of money in the room, a scary thing on many levels. But this says everything anyone could say, so thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. +George Station +Laura Gibbs +Justin Schwamm +Anissa Goyal Stein +Matthew McGuire oh I am too tired to list everyone I wanted to list but this is worth the read (and click through to some of the presentations!)
The current generation of students will witness the remaking of our education system. Change is happening on many fronts: economic, technological, paradigmatic, social, and the natural cycles of chang...
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I mentioned to a colleague about my time working at a college (staff not faculty). In particular when I was surprised to find that there was a university run hotel on campus. Surrounded by historic buildings, nature walk and oriental gardens and placed in the center of several beautiful wooded acres. Then I thought about my freshman year dorm with three people to a room the size of a closet, blaring heat and horrible accommodations; crowded classrooms; sitting cross-legged on the floor and eating prison food.

The oriental garden was delightful though for visiting funders, I suppose.
We just did a huge bond issue for student athlete housing, $75 million for 360 beds ... that's over $200,000 PER BED.
So, if it were a four-bedroom house, with a master bedroom, five beds total, that would be equivalent to each student living in a million-dollar house that would be 3200 square feet in size - i.e. a McMansion.
My school may be non-profit, but that does not mean big bucks are not already involved like for any other very big (very very very very big) business.
I have very little sympathy for student athletes. They had private tutors for classes; guaranteed back from administration if they slipped and needed a grade changed or extra credit awarded. It was silly. Dropping college athletics entirely would be the first step to providing an education first rather than an "experience" for alumni.
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