Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Can the selective pressures on higher education lead to greater sustainability?

This blog post from Jay Halfond is from October, but I rediscovered it in the New England Journal of Higher Education. It's definitely thought-provoking. Take this quote:

The ability to prolong the longevity of smaller colleges will be severely tested in the coming years. Their academic leaders will need to better articulate the value of this institutional diversity, and explore creative ways of facilitating interdependence among institutions and practical opportunities for collaboration, experimentation, alliances, resource-sharing, and outsourcing.

Whatever kind of institution you work in (whether in higher education, nonprofit, the public sector or other), how do YOU facilitate collaboration, experimentation, and resource-sharing?

Do you see the current and coming shifts in higher education as an "either-or" situation (as in "endangered or sustainable")? Can the selective pressures being felt at colleges and universities lead to a more sustainability-oriented profession? Or, viewed from another frame, could sustainability be grounding principle we need to reshape and restore higher education?