Universities will be ‘irrelevant’ by 2020

RT @zephoria: Most people who seek mass attention are unaware of the costs of being famous. Few know what they’re getting into. Coping w/ fame ain’t easy.

If the Chronicle’s headline When Professors Print Their Own Diplomas, Who Needs Universities didn’t catch my colleagues’ attention, today’s front page story in the Deseret News seems to have done the trick: Universities will be ‘irrelevant’ by 2020, Y. professor says. By 8:30 am today (the day the article was published) I’d already received multiple emails and a phone call.

Now, I did actually say something like this – but it was preceded by “If universities can’t find the will to innovate and adapt to changes in the world around them (what’s happening in the economy, affordability, the impacts of technology and openness, etc.)… universities will be irrelevant by 2020.”

(It reminds me of my very first newspaper interview ever. I was an undergrad. I was singing Nanki-Poo in the Mikado at Marshall University, and the local paper came to talk to us about the production. I had just recently returned from serving an LDS mission in Japan, and had a number of things to say to the reporter about the culture, setting, etc. of the show. The quote attributed to me in the paper the next day read something like, “The Mikado really demonstrates how women don’t fit into society.” I was devastated.)

I hope this most recent article in the DesNews catalyzes some useful conversations and does more good than harm…