Universities on the Brink of a Nervous Breakdown: What Will It Take to Redesign and Reinvigorate American Higher Education?
Pretty much anyone you talk to in America today has an opinion about what’s wrong with our universities. Parents think they’re too expensive. Recent graduates fear being crushed by debt and ending up untrained for the current job market.
It’s safe to say that American universities are under fire—for everything from perpetuating inequality to failing to adapt to our digital age. In advance of the Zócalo event “What Are Universities For?”, we asked scholars: Does the contemporary university need to be redesigned to address these problems—and if so, how?
JFF's Lara Couturier responds to to Zócalo's inquiry.
Redesign Colleges for the 99 Percent
A widening wealth gap and declining economic mobility are among the most damaging trends facing the U.S. Over the last three decades, the top 0.1 percent’s share of the nation’s wealth has tripled—from 7 percent to 22 percent. Between 2010 and 2013, the net worth of the typical African-American family declined by one-third. As beneficiaries of significant taxpayer support, colleges and universities must help tackle this crisis.