Public universities are under threat – not just by outside reformers

Source: Brendan Cantwell, The Conversation, September 22, 2016

A new documentary, “Starving the Beast,” recently examined the state of public higher education. Directed by Austin-based award-winning documentarian Steve Mims, the film argues that a network of right-wing think tanks and educational reformers are undermining public universities. It suggests that America’s great public universities may die from a thousand cuts unless policymakers change course.

My experience as a higher education policy researcher leads me to share many of Mims’ concerns. There are many serious challenges facing public universities.

However, my research also shows more than a right wing conspiracy is to blame for the condition of public higher education today. ….