Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A More Nuanced Bill Gates

Inside Higher Ed
July 22nd, 2014

It is ironic, says Bill Gates, that academic institutions are so good at studying the world around them but not themselves.
Gates, the Microsoft founder whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent roughly a half billion dollars on higher education, made his case to college business officers Monday that colleges must hold themselves more accountable -- or someone else will bring them to account.
“The sooner you drive this the better it is than having it brought down from on high in a way that is not appropriate,” Gates told members of the National Association of College and University Business Officers during the group’s annual conference here, which is also home to "the foundation," as those here call it.
It will surprise few that Gates said more than a few things that would rile many a faculty member. He painted a future in which a small number of top-quality online courses in key disciplines replace home-grown lectures on many campuses (as leading textbooks have historically done), fretted about what faculty unions could do to interfere with changes in higher education, and said nonprofit colleges could learn something from for-profit colleges about providing support to students.

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