College Unbound by Jeffry J. Selingo

“Even as we imagine what higher education will look like in the third decade of the new millennium, we must carefully balance the demands of the future with the strengths of the current systems that make US colleges and universities the envy of the world.”

If you try to stay up to date on higher education literature, you are going to collect a large amount of criticisms. This is not a new trend, colleges and universities have been fighting off critics since their inception.

There are different types of critics. There is the retired administrator who blabbers about “the good ol’ days” when students cared and grades meant something. There is the disappointed professor who blames administrators for only caring about the bottom line, parents who care only about the return on investment, and students too distracted by technology and parties. There is also the careless yet successful outsider who never trusted formalized education yet is crazy successful today.

There are probably many other types of critics, but each critic calls for major reformation even though their perspectives are superficial, misinformed, and/or one-sided.

So when I picked up College Unbound, I was expecting another insufficient criticism on higher education. Simply put, I was completely wrong. College Unbound by Jeffry J. Selingo is probably the best analysis of American higher education I have ever read. Selingo is the editor of the most comprehensive news publication for academia, The Chronicle of Higher Education. He brings the most well-rounded, in-depth, comprehensive perspective to this study I have ever seen.

Selingo sees value in our current system while blatantly demanding change. How colleges recruit, how students choose, how students pay, how colleges operate, and how we all innovate needs to change if higher education in the United States hopes to remain “the envy of the world.”

We cannot let our schools go the way of the automotive and newspaper industry.

I definitely think this book is a must read.

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