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Dynamics of the Contemporary UniversityGrowth, Accretion, and Conflict$
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Neil J. Smelser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275812

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Contemporary Trends

Contemporary Trends

Diagnoses and Conditional Predictions

(p.78) Three Contemporary Trends
Dynamics of the Contemporary University

Neil J. Smelser

University of California Press

This chapter changes the direction of analysis, identifying recent and likely future trends as they are superimposed on the already complex structures of educational institutions.The imagery of a “perfect storm” boding disaster for higher education is identified, and several important trends—some threatening—are specified.Among these are a combination of financial starvation accompanied by rigidities in governance and increases in accountability; commercialization, including student consumerism, the “managerial ideology,” and university-industry relations; the increased salience of online distance learning and the spectacular rise of for-profit institutions; the rapid and continuing rise of the use of adjunct faculty (temporary and parttime), along with the implications of this development for tradeunionism, academic tenure, and possible compromises of academic freedom.

Keywords:   accountability, governance, academic commercialization, consumerism, distancelearning, unions, tenure, academic freedom

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