Breaking Bad? The Privatization of Harvard

Career College Central Summary:

  • Institutions, especially one as old as Harvard, are forced to adapt and reinvent themselves to suit new contexts.
  • So why does Harvard’s transformation from public steward to private corporation matter in the grand scheme of things?
  • Because Harvard — as the college rankings and its alumni will happily attest — is no ordinary university.
  • As Harvard goes, so goes U.S. higher education.
  • The university’s transition from public funding to private institution, and its mandate to tap private revenue sources and grow its endowment fund, has influenced countless other American colleges desperate to keep up.
  • Despite their public-oriented mission statements, Harvard and many other prestigious colleges operate much more as credentializers of well-connected, reasonably affluent individuals in the “meritocracy” they helped create than as workshops of democracy in the communities they were chartered to serve and promote. 

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