American Higher Education in Crisis? By Goldie Blumenstyk

Higher education is a very complex world. College campuses are no longer simple places of higher learning. Campuses are virtually small cities with their own security force, emergency response systems, medical personnel, food services, technological infrastructure, etc. So it is pretty easy to say that colleges and universities cannot operate like the old days.

Today, colleges are at a crossroad. For better or for worse, newer technologies are finally starting to disrupt the educational process. Can colleges, which are infamous for begin slow adapters, survive these insanely rapid changes?

Society is very good at identifying problems and failures but not very good at recognizing success. So where is education working well? Our public high school education system does not seem to be succeeding, no matter how much money politicians throw at it. Our top-tier private colleges seem to always be lambasted for being too elite and exclusive. Public universities and community colleges are definitely praised for their open access but their student success rates are dismal.

What is not working? We know that answer. What is working? Well, that is a good question.

Is there an American higher education crisis? I am not sure there is a crisis on the horizon, but I definitely think there will be immense changes. Colleges and universities will have to rethink their goals and re-strategize their missions.

This work from Goldie Blumenstyk is an excellent guide to modern issues in higher education. The book simply asks the most common questions you hear about colleges today and then gives us a very clear and concise answer. If I had to teach a masters level class called “Introduction to Higher Education Administration,” this book easily would be my central text.