Here are 15 ideas. Got some of your own? Let's hear them.
Last month you could see who was lining up against higher education just by looking at the local magazine rack. It seemed to be pretty much everyone.
Newsweek ran a provocative cover story—"Is College a Lousy Investment?"—which suggested that we might be better off sending kids into jobs and apprenticeships. The conservatives at The Weekly Standard were bemoaning the death of Western literature, blaming its demise on "the general crisis of higher education," which was "the next big bubble to burst." And Utne Reader, the lefty digest, used a scornful image to push its cover story about "indentured students": a cartoon of Albert Einstein flipping burgers.
"What's a college degree really worth these days?" the magazine asked.
That is the tone of the national conversation right now. It's not just experts, lawmakers, and disgruntled academics who see problems in the industry. Now parents, students, employers, and pundits say higher education is fundamentally broken—inefficient, ineffective, overpriced, outdated, out of touch.
What would it take to reinvent college? The following articles, and more in coming issues of The Chronicle, will begin to imagine a different higher-education landscape.