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Privatizing the Public University: Perspectives from across the Academy

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Overview

With public colleges and universities facing substantial budget cuts and increased calls for accountability, more institutions now rely on private revenue streams for support. As market-driven policies and behaviors become more commonplace, some cautious critics sound the alarm, while others watching the bottom line cheer. But which perspective gets it right? Does the privatization of public higher education threaten its very mission or support it?

In this collection of essays, economists, policy makers, political scientists, sociologists, and organizational researchers discuss the impact of privatization from their respective disciplinary perspectives and assess its implications for the future of higher education.

Privatization may bring additional funds and services that are free from government regulations and oversight, but does it also allow private interests to have undue influence over public higher education? Should public universities have to compete in the economic marketplace as vigorously as they do in the marketplace of ideas? What are the implications when institutions of higher learning function like businesses?

With privatization now a reality for most public colleges and universities, an objective examination of the issue from these diverse academic perspectives will be welcomed by those struggling with its challenges.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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What People Are Saying

Kevin Kinser

An original approach to the ‘problem’ of privatization in higher education. I am not aware of any books that substantively cover the same landscape as this one, and the contributions from different disciplinary approaches are unique.

Kevin Kinser, University at Albany, State University of New York

Patricia J. Gumport

In an era of scarce resources and competitive strategies, this timely volume on privatization illuminates one of the most significant trends reshaping public higher education. Assembled here is a thoughtful and well-crafted collection of essays by prominent scholars who draw from a range of academic fields. They elucidate the major dimensions of privatization, beyond shifts in market mechanisms to fundamental questions about state policy objectives, academic governance, and campus missions. This book is a welcome contribution to the study of higher education.

Patricia J. Gumport, Stanford University

David Ward

The balance between public and private investments in higher education has been redefined without appropriate clarity or adequate discourse. This timely book draws on a variety of disciplines to address how the expanded private role has altered many rules guiding access, quality, competition, and governance. It will meet the needs of policy makers and campus leaders concerned about the preservation of the essential public content of higher education.

David Ward, Former President, American Council of Education

David W. Breneman

A seismic shift in public higher education toward privatization has been under way for a decade or more. This splendid volume explores implications of this trend for finance, governance, performance, and regulation of universities. Those who care about educational opportunity and economic competitiveness will find this book essential reading.

David W. Breneman, University of Virginia

Kevin Kinser
An original approach to the ‘problem’ of privatization in higher education. I am not aware of any books that substantively cover the same landscape as this one, and the contributions from different disciplinary approaches are unique.
David Ward
The balance between public and private investments in higher education has been redefined without appropriate clarity or adequate discourse. This timely book draws on a variety of disciplines to address how the expanded private role has altered many rules guiding access, quality, competition, and governance. It will meet the needs of policy makers and campus leaders concerned about the preservation of the essential public content of higher education.
David W. Breneman
A seismic shift in public higher education toward privatization has been under way for a decade or more. This splendid volume explores implications of this trend for finance, governance, performance, and regulation of universities. Those who care about educational opportunity and economic competitiveness will find this book essential reading.
Patricia J. Gumport
In an era of scarce resources and competitive strategies, this timely volume on privatization illuminates one of the most significant trends reshaping public higher education. Assembled here is a thoughtful and well-crafted collection of essays by prominent scholars who draw from a range of academic fields. They elucidate the major dimensions of privatization, beyond shifts in market mechanisms to fundamental questions about state policy objectives, academic governance, and campus missions. This book is a welcome contribution to the study of higher education.
Kevin Kinser

An original approach to the 'problem' of privatization in higher education. I am not aware of any books that substantively cover the same landscape as this one, and the contributions from different disciplinary approaches are unique.

Kevin Kinser, University at Albany, State University of New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801891649
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher C. Morphew is an associate professor in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. Peter D. Eckel is the director of Programs and Initiatives at the Center for Effective Leadership at the American Council on Education and author of The Shifting Frontiers of Academic Decision Making: Responding to New Priorities, Following New Pathways.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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