Yes, Higher Ed Is a Business — But It’s Also a Calling
In discussions about why higher education has fallen in public esteem and support, colleges are seen as too elitist, too liberal, too resistant to accountability, too expensive, and too focused on liberal learning rather than preparing students for careers. A less-cited theme is that a large majority of Americans view academic institutions as essentially businesses that are more concerned with their own financial well-being than with educating students or serving communities. It is not difficult to draw a bright line connecting the view of academic institutions as money-making enterprises with the readiness of Congress to eliminate longstanding tax benefits based on the idea of colleges and universities as charitable enterprises.
Originally published: March 18, 2018
Author: Richard M. Freeland
Position: President Emeritus
Institution: Northeastern University
Published by: The Chronicle of Higher Ed