Rick Reis’ today posted on his Tomorrow’s Professor mailing list a reprint of a review by Sandra L. Koresoja (and originally published in Planning for Higher Education, January-March, 2008) of College Unranked: Ending the College Admissions Frenzy, edited by Lloyd Thacker, published by Harvard University Press and Remaking the American University – Market Smart and Mission Centered, by Robert Zemsky, Gregory R. Wegner, and William F. Massy, published by Rurgers University Press. From the review:
In today’s colleges and universities, the influence of market forces has tended to alter faculty as well as institutional incentives, while Internet communications capabilities have blurred the boundaries of academic knowledge and created global research communities (Nowotny, Scott, and Gibbons 2001). Thacker begins the discussion regarding changes in the admissions process by asking in a section title, “Who Can Do What Needs to Be Done?” (Thacker, p. 181). His suggested initial steps to collective action are focused on students, parents, colleges, the College Board, and members of the media involved with ranking colleges. The suggestions of Zemsky, Wegner, and Massy for institutions seem less concrete. Yet, their book helps to explain the origins and broader context of the admissions arms race; it also furthers a larger discussion of importance to planners and policy makers by raising new questions about the “public good” purposes, or social value, of higher education in today’s increasingly globally connected world.