If there was any doubt that MOOC’s and other forms of technology weren’t part of a larger evisceration of academia, here’s some more news: summer homes for star faculty while adjuncts starve on the sidelines. Not very different from Walmart’s practices is it? Doesn’t Walmart promise “the lowest prices guaranteed”? How much cheaper can you get than free?
If I were you, I would be very leery of handing over higher education to Stanford and Harvard in the name of democratization and free courseware. What’s clear is that the real crisis in higher education isn’t an economic one, but a moral one. Just as the crisis in healthcare is a moral crisis, not an economic one. Yes, the cost of higher education and healthcare is out of control, but that’s only because public funding has been cut systematically.
Universities should be careful though — once they lose their moral legitimacy, there isn’t much that you are left with. It’s not as if there are any cool widgets they are turning out. It might be time to think beyond the degree.