Watch that Goose

I think that proprietary online education universities ought to see their histories, up this point, in terms of market building. It’s often a brutal process, particularly in a political climate in which regulation, indeed all government intervention in the market, is so suspect. Capitalism, especially under the sway of free market ideologies, preys on the vulnerable.  The existing system, then, owes a certain debt to the people who suffered through the years of creative destruction. I think its past time that we invest in our own reputations if not pay reparations.

It’s an optimistic narrative, of course, since the industry shows so little awareness of its history, much less any sense of public obligation beyond limited philanthropy. If our reputations continue to suffer, though, we might kill the Goose. I’d like to think for-profit administrations could learn to see themselves in a  context more analogous to service and education rather than industry narrowly defined.  That’s all too rare anywhere. It’s not any measure of public service, of course, but perhaps one starting point could be the emerging U.S. News Rankings for online education.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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