Reality Check

The Reality Check blog, from John V. Lombardi, follows the endlessly fascinating parade of criticism and defense of the higher education business.

November 1, 2013 - 7:29am
  The ongoing pursuit of the cheapest and least intrusive higher education alternatives continues apace.
June 2, 2013 - 5:09pm
The parallels between the MOOC provider's expansion and the college sports empire.
November 12, 2012 - 3:00am
The advent of Internet-enabled mass access to college level educational content offers a number of opportunities to both consumers and providers. Consumers can shop for any number of content items online from a wide array of providers, choosing products based on the subject, the prestige of the provider, and the subsequent value of participation. Providers will have access to large potential markets with low overhead expense and most importantly without an obligation to validate the preparation and capabilities of the consumers or guarantee a level of successful completion.
September 12, 2012 - 9:17am
Long-time observers of the public university scene recognize ritual behavior as an essential component of institutional process. Among the many rituals of public university governance, open trustee board meetings have a special place. Everyone looks forward to the board meeting as a theatrical forum where talented individuals play ritualized parts according to well prepared scripts.
July 23, 2012 - 3:00am
Universities, like other high profile service organizations, continuously seek visibility and preeminence to validate their claims of significance and advertise their association with the latest educational trends and enthusiasms.  MOOCs are one of these enthusiasms. Massive Open Online Courses deliver to the connected e-world electronic views of institutional course offerings.
May 21, 2012 - 6:55am
Imagine a small, developing country of perhaps 3 million people. Like many other small developing countries, our imaginary nation is rich in natural resources, its economy has prospered on the export of agricultural crops and benefited from the revenue generated by petroleum production, refining, and support services. Its history, like some of its counterparts in the developing world, reflects a constant structural economic weakness covered by a colorful culture, truly creative and charming people, and an often dramatic sequence of past events.
May 10, 2012 - 11:48am
The determined effort to ensure that everyone has a post-secondary credential of some kind spawns a wide range of new educational products. Traditional suppliers of higher education seek an appropriate response. Should they try to commercialize their brand by also publishing courses online? Should they partner with an aggressive and effective for-profit or foundation-funded not-for-profit enterprise to leverage faculty intellectual property into credential producing products for large audiences? Should they offer academic services to validate learning acquired through non-traditional means leading to credentials or college degrees?
March 19, 2012 - 11:03am
Whether it goes by the name of exaggeration, half-truth, misrepresentation, distortion, or dissembling, lying is endemic in all of education.  
October 19, 2011 - 5:40pm
I had a chance to participate in a recent meeting of the Association of Research Libraries, the famous ARL.
September 21, 2011 - 12:00pm
 Periodically in the world of intercollegiate athletics, we cycle through a set of controversies, changes, and challenges that cause our many constituencies and the legions of interested fans and observers to generate remarkable noise levels. The commentary ranges from absurd to rational and from passionate to disdainful, and the rhetorical flights rise to stratospheric heights. For those of us who have lived through multiple iterations of this cycle, and others who have read the history of college sports, this all produces a sense of deja vu.


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