Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The University Of Adam Smith?

An interesting, if not unbiased Wall Street Journal review of "change.edu" by Andrew Rose. The University of Phoenix is the currently the largest University in the world by student population (by a lot), so these are very relevant issues:


Wall Street Journal
FEBRUARY 6, 2012
The University Of Adam Smith
In the scramble for money and prestige, colleges lose their focus on education. A business executive thinks he has a solution.
By Naomi Schaefer Riley

About halfway through "Change.edu," Andrew Rosen relates a story from a consultant who was hired by a small private college to help it implement the once-trendy concept of Total Quality Management. The consultant began by asking the school's administrators and staff a question: "Who is your customer?" The provost said that "basically everyone is our customer." Two of the school's deans named "the faculty" as their main customer. The college president picked "the trustees." The faculty itself found the word "customer" offensive. The consultant was eventually fired.

Mr. Rosen, who is chief executive of Kaplan Inc., one of the largest for-profit higher-education providers in the country, has a way with an anecdote, and "Change.edu" is a lively read thanks to his in-person interviews and firsthand reporting at colleges across the country. As the customer-related anecdote suggests, one of the book's themes is that most colleges and universities have trouble identifying exactly whom they are trying to please and thus what exactly they are supposed to be doing....

Read the rest:

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