A New Higher Education: The "Next Model" Takes Shape

April 2011
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The realities of higher education are being transformed by economic, political and socio-cultural forces. The U.S. model of postsecondary education appears to be reaching its upper limits of scalability. A prime consequence is a new understanding of the role of higher education faculty. Many institutions have broken down the model of the full-time, tenured professor charged with teaching, research and service by hiring substantial segments of their academic staff into part-time and/or non-tenure track roles. That restructuring has coincided with the cresting of broader demographic shifts within the faculty. The result has been a grafting of new demographic groups onto an academic workforce that is rapidly differentiating by function. These systemic changes will draw importantly on contemporary global perspectives as other national systems evolve rapidly and more interactively with the U.S.