And how do they do it? Let me tell you.
Institutions would add new units that focus on generating external grants and bringing new technology to market.
They would build conference centers and create for-profit subsidiaries.
All these are done to generate more revenue for institutions.
What are the implications of this?
Well, the implications are that academic research is increasingly focused on marketable knowledge, entrepreneurial priorities are taking precedence, services are being outsourced, and students are carrying an increasing burden to pay higher tuition fees for their education.
Then how do university administrators view this trend?
That is, the marketplace is showing stronger impact on how institutions are run.
In fact, university administrators see little option except to respond to the marketplace.
The reason is, if their institution does not react effectively, it will not have the necessary resources to offer high-quality and diverse academic programs.
Institutions unable to compete may face hard circumstances because government support continues to fall, students become better-informed consumers, and advances in technology also widen the number and reach of competitors.
In turn, the ability to compete-for students, resources, faculty and prestige-becomes a driving strategic force.
At its extreme, competition can overtake more traditional academic values.
However, the downside of pursuing market goals without appropriately balancing them against the public good is....
is that institutions will no longer be able to fulfill their social responsibility to produce well-educated citizens and face the threat of losing their privileged place in society as they resemble more closely other market-driven organizations.
Now let's move on to the second challenge facing U.S. higher education.
That is the tension between competition and equality in admissions decisions.
Since World War II, U.S. higher education has been engaged in a process of “massification”, that is, expanding to serve students from all walks of life.
Motivating this effort is a widespread belief in the power of education to create social and economic mobility and a belief in the morality and social value of making higher education accessible to everyone.
Research data bear out public perceptions:
When young people from low income backgrounds complete a bachelor's degree, their income and employment characteristics after graduation are equivalent to their peers from more affluent backgrounds.
So education can truly be “the great equalizer”。