"There is a widening gap between the rate at which knowledge
is expanding and the rate at which colleges and universities
change. In higher education, as in business, institutions must
become more flexible and agile. Colleges and universities that
can’t adapt will fail. Departments will either be eliminated or
redesigned in ways that support more extensive collaboration
among faculty members and students working in different areas.
These changes will meet considerable resistance, but they
are unavoidable and will have beneficial results. In all areas
of endeavor, innovation comes about by bringing together what is
usually held apart. Just as artistic creativity often occurs by
mixing different genres, so intellectual innovation frequently
results from crossing different disciplines.
With growing competition abroad and increasing financial
problems at home, the worldwide pre-eminence of U.S. higher
education isn’t assured in the 21st century. Even if it were
possible to increase funding in this era of shortsighted
austerity, it wouldn’t be enough. A fundamental transformation
in higher education will require a thorough rethinking of both
what and how we teach.
Colleges and universities will have to be reorganized and
create new strategies for cooperation and collaboration that
will enable them to provide the best education to the most
students for the lowest price. If we have the imagination and
determination to rise to this challenge, we will be able to
provide the education our children and grandchildren deserve and
the world needs."