Comments about ‘Copying Harvard too costly, colleges need new model, say Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring’

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Published: Friday, June 17 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT

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West Valley, UT

Higher Education is the next bubble to pop. Costs are gonna fall fall fall over the next few decades as enrollment drops, and underperforming schools are going to close their doors.

South Jordan, UT

Higher Ed is ripe for disruption in the form of invasive technology, competition, and obsolesence of the current model. Those institutions that recognize and adapt will survive. Those that cling to the past will not.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

Please tell me there is more to this book than hybrid courses. Everybody is doing that already. I guess I should read the book and not rely on the article for a complete picture.

Salt Lake City, UT

Don't count on the costs falling. When enrollment declines, the fixed costs must be spread over the smaller enrollment base, the average cost per student increases and the institution appeals to the Legislature for increased funding. Perversely, when the enrollment increases, the institution again appeals to the Legislature, now using the argument that they need more money because of the increased enrollment.

That's just the way it works!!!

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Underlying all that Harvard does is the hard left wind ideology that infects their faculty.

Understanding that fact alone justifies basically ignoring everything else Harvard does, if you are truly interested in quality and useful education.

Much like the New York Times is no longer a role model for the news industry.

Times are a changing.

Hank Pym

Last thing we need is more GW Bush or Al Gore clones

Seriously, why spend all that $ to jump thru hoops when the bookstore or the 'net is closer, cheaper, & less stressful??

Forest Grove, OR

Just look at the parade of national leaders and publicly visible people with degrees from the Ivy League schools (George Bush comes to mind, as a classic example), and the blatant lack of knowledge and judgment they display. Also many of the top players in the financial crisis, that nearly sank the world economy, also herald from Harvard and Yale. It all denotes that these elite schools are severely lacking, and certainly do not bestow any greater intelligence than any other accredited university, despite their extravagant costs and overrated curriculum. Rather than imitate the elite schools, they should be regarded as failures not to model and reformed to instill a greater level of intelligence than that we see so clearly on display by some of their most prominent graduates.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Nosea above just made an excellent argument as to why Sarah Palin's education is just as qualifying for the Presidency as any of the last several Presidents.

Of course, the grades of all are known to the public except for the incumbent who strenuously works to keep his grades concealed, along with just about everything else about his background and meager qualifications.

Kaysville, UT

Yeah, DN Subscriber, Palin knows all about higher education.
She attended enough universities that she has a view from several different points and she can still see Russia from her front porch.

Yuma, CO.

We've seen some real bubble-headed (so-called) leaders come out of Harvard in the last several decades. I agree that universities should stop imitating Harvard at least in their tendency to hire secular leftists who spread their nonsense to youthful, naive minds.

Provo, UT

Its not where you get your education but what you do with it. Remember an encounter on the bus with a man with a master's degree in physics from Cal Tech. He was a street person who shared his carefully laid out travel plan showing and rating homeless shelters in the US and how long he could stay. When I asked him why he didn't use his education to get a job his answer was, why? Then I would have to pay taxes and put up with a boss. The smartest scientist I ever met graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and the most bumbling from Oxford.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

If you think higher education is expensive, you should try ignorance!

Bountiful, UT

A Harvard level education can not make up for a lack luster secondary education. Now that algebra and geometry are manditory for everyone, it is necessary to have an honors class in both of these for those students who desire to become scholars, i.e. our future scientists and engineers. An honors class is one where challenging problems are given, where the proofs of the theorems presented and done by the students.

A student who has a substandard secondary education will not have this made up in a quality university.

New Haven, CT

All of your contempt for elite universities misses the point. Elite universities are both conservative like Chicago, Stanford, and MIT, and liberal like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and exist as a required signaling method for students to get hired by the best companies, get start up capital for ventures, and succeed in politics.

Mckinsey or Goldman hire from these schools because they know that the student quality is going to be great and these grads are palatable to lay people. Even the smartest guy in the world with all of the best interpersonal skills and street smarts will struggle to get elite opportunities graduating from UVU, the U, and other programs.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Public K-12 education is very expensive as well costing over $20,000 per student in many states. Public schools are at the 50% percentile by definition.

Homeschooling is much less expensive (okay, they get free labor) with some curricula costing as little as $99 for a full K-12 program. There are many free resources online.

In homeschooling children read and discuss classic books, work real world math problems and turn their kitchen into a chemistry laboratory. Families hire or trade tutoring when necessary. They also form groups and go on field trips.

I see zero reason that for non-laboratory classes universities could not adopt a similar model. Such a university would consist of a library, tutoring center and a testing center. The library could be either a traditional library or web based. Lectures, when necessary or desired, could be delivered via U-Tube (University Tube). Just stick a camcorder in each classroom for a year and upload the video.

Discussion groups would also be web bases. They could be as simple as a group page on Facebook.

If the emphasis were on reducing costs rather than maximizing expense we would be amazed at the results.

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

The most liberal thing that a university can do is to be a good educational value so that the children of baggage handlers, construction workers and janitors can get a good education and move out of poverty.

Everything else is just talk.


Atlanta, GA

I wouldn't call Princeton particularly "liberal." They are home to one of the most conservative social think tanks in the country. Also, the idea that academics as a whole is unjustly liberal is baloney. After all, the facts tend to have a liberal bias.

But what I don't understand is the obsession with the Ivy League. Is it the nation's best university? Yes. But public universities like Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, California, Georgia Tech, and Washington compete with the Ivy League on an equal or higher academic level in many fields. Not to mention private non-Ivy schools like Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Emory, and USC. Even BYU and Utah graduates are widely respected at the national level; I'm a BYU grad, and got into Georgia Tech's engineering graduate school over people who went to MIT and Stanford.

There is a long list of universities that successfully apply the traditional academic model, to the benefit of their communities and alumni. I think Christensen and Eyring's study is not aimed at major schools like the U, the Y and Utah State, but rather Dixie State, SUU, and UVU.

Newport Beach, CA

"Elite universities are both conservative like Chicago, Stanford, and MIT"

Stanford? STANFORD??!!?

Stanford has the conservative Hoover Institution think tank tucked away on a corner of the campus. Trust me, the rest of the place is anything but conservative.

Except the engineering department, of course. Hard sciences tend to be conservative, because liberal touchy-feely pretense doesn't translate well into disciplines where you actually have to get and care about the right answer.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA


"The most liberal thing that a university can do is to be a good educational value so that the children of baggage handlers, construction workers and janitors can get a good education and move out of poverty."

The children of baggage handlers, construction workers and janitors cannot pay the tuition at elite universities.


Harvard brochure:

"Loans are not required; home equity is not used in aid calculations

Free for parents with incomes under $60,000

Zero to 10 percent of annual family income for those from $60,000 to $180,000 with normal
Financial assets

Aid available for some families with incomes above $180,000 facing unusual financial challenges."

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