Startup U?

2006-01-26

A while back, one of the local public access channels I watch from time to time aired a mini-debate on privatizing the public universities in Colorado. Amusingly, only the moderator had anything good to say about the idea. Some debate.

Long-time readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear that I thought the proposal did not go far enough. To me, the sad thing about higher education is that it's dominated by large, state run institutions. Imagine if the same were true in the rest of the economy: we'd all be working for government monopolies or public utilities such as the old AT&T, your local electric company, and the like. Thankfully, we don't -- and the result is a tremendously flexible economy, a churning mass of small companies, new startups forming every minute, and ever-increasing innovation.

Yet we have very little of this in higher education. Sure, there's the University of Phoenix, College America, and such. But the phrase "educational entrepreneurship" still seems oxymoronic. Where are the small, innovative schools? Indeed, what would such schools even look like? Let's imagine for a minute...

There are such schools, especially in the arts. But we don't have nearly enough of them.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal