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Combining Two Higher Ed Threads


There’s an important point to be synthesized from these recent posts from Erik and Paul.  One of the most effective rhetorical strategies  of the disruptors is to make use of the (genuine) crisis of student debt.  If a lot of those pesky high-priced faculty members can be cut out of the process by mass online-only degrees and other credentials, then surely students will save a lot of money.   The obvious problem with the argument is that faculty compensation has already been steadily declining, as tenure-track faculty salaries have remained stagnant while far more teaching has been outsourced to adjuncts being paid starvation wages.  And yet, not only have these savings not been captured by students, tuition has gone up massively during the same time period.  If Carey and the other disruptors want to argue that the next round of cuts to faculty compensation will result in savings being passed on to students as opposed to profits passed on to executives and Associate Vice Dean Provosts of Proactive Paradigms of Strategic Disruption, the burden of proof is squarely on them.


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