Why do the doomsayers exist? For one, it is common for each generation to think it is alive at the single most pivotal time in history. Surely we sit at a precipice, with the fate of everything, including higher education, in our hands in a way unknown to previous generations. Right? Doubtful, history suggests. A healthy skepticism about a world always on the verge of major change might be a useful antidote against panic.
Second, it turns out to be really difficult to predict the future. Most previous higher-education doomsayers were well intentioned and thoughtful, but that didn’t help them get it right. The world is complex, and those who merely extrapolate current trends into the future will get them largely wrong.
Finally, as we noted, many “objective” observers are anything but. Often they have a vested interest in getting us to worry. And it works. We read their articles and books, support them in elections, buy their consulting services, or donate to their causes.
Beware Higher-Ed Doomsayers – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education. Fortunately, the people who wrote this article have no such vested interests, but rather are completely objective observers whose cheerleading for higher education we can take as Gospel truth.
Wait … they’re both college presidents? Never mind.