By Henry C. Lucas
Henry C. Lucas, Jr. is the Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.
What do Borders, Kodak, and Blockbuster have in common with American higher education? All three organizations failed and are currently in bankruptcy. Borders is gone, Kodak is suffering a lingering death, and Blockbuster was bought by Dish, which is gradually shrinking what was left of the company. Is the same fate in store for U.S. colleges and universities? Most people would argue that the answer is no, just as the managers of these three companies argued that new technologies would not affect their business models.
I do not believe that all U.S. colleges and universities will disappear as a result of new technologies, but clearly some will. If higher education institutions embrace the status quo, they will no longer be in control of their own fate.
What is the evidence that there is a serious threat to American higher education?
- The Minerva Project proposes to create a top-tier for-profit research university. Students will live together on different campuses around the world, and top professors in their fields will stream online classes to student seminars.
[ Full article available at EDUCAUSE Review: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/can-current-model-higher-education-survive-moocs-and-online-learning ]