The Toxic University

Outliers always get lots of attention.

John Smyth, the author of The Toxic University, talks about his book in this interesting article: “Author discusses ideas in his new book, ‘The Toxic University’” (IHE, 12 July 2017)

My key takeaway is that those responsible for pricing tuition and fees bear full responsibility for the toxic conditions described in the article (and book).

Prices were increased to the point that it began to make people think about and question the value of higher education.

Ever-higher prices put higher education on the radar screen of politicians and consumers, and generated hostility towards HE. It invited scrutiny of a type that led to toxic actions being taken that are distinctly at odds with what this web site is about.

Instead of mastering the basics and correcting fundamental problems (see “Academics ‘fail to change teaching due to fear of looking stupid‘”), higher education leaders chose to focus on different things which now makes their job even more difficult.

What should HE leaders do?

  • Master the basics
  • Improve processes to reduce costs

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