Login
Copyright

The End of Public Universities?

Sep 30, 2011

Recent economic struggles are leading some large public universities to seek funding from outside their usual state government sources. This and other factors are leading some university administrators to push for privatization and freedom from state budget constraints. But critics worry that privatization will make flagship universities less accessible to the lower-income students who often find success there.

View popular schools

By Sarah Wright

classroom

A Heated Debate

A recent push for privatization in public higher education is raising some hackles. In this case, 'privatization' refers to a separation from the funding and constraints associated with being part of a public university system. Privatization is a highly politicized word no matter how it's applied, and as such, some supporters and detractors of higher education privatization are getting heated.

Politics has played a major part in University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin's attempts to move the school toward privatization. In a recent editorial for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kevin Carey pointed to Martin's abortion advocacy and gender scholarship, calling it 'strange' that she should collaborate with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker has been a controversial, highly divisive figure on a national scale, but there doesn't seem to be a logical reason why Chancellor Martin's scholarship and specific political beliefs should prevent her from trying to work with the governor of her state.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

The New Badger Partnership

The UW-Madison privatization push is a great case study for the argued pros and cons of such a move. Chancellor Martin named her agenda 'The New Badger Partnership' (NBP) after the school's mascot. The NBP is Martin's response to what she sees as the potential for academic and developmental stagnation at the flagship UW-Madison, and by extension, the rest of the university system in Wisconsin. Her argument is that if the state's university systems take a hit in quality, the state's economic status will falter.

The NBP proposal seeks to modernize the 'business relationship' between the university and the state. The primary objectives of this move are to grant the university control over procurement and construction, faculty and staff compensation and hiring, and tuition. In a speech on October 19, Martin said that she wants to turn the university into a 'market-driven' institution that is competitive on a global scale.

Is the Public University Dying?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is not the only public flagship university seeking or considering privatization in some form or another. According to Carey's editorial in The Chronicle, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is considering the move, and the University of Virginia has already privatized certain parts of the university. But to say that these few schools' attempts to respond to a very real economic crisis spells the death of public higher education is going too far. Some changes to the system as we know it are no doubt on the horizon. But it will take more than the privatization of a few flagship universities to make an all-consuming trend.

Privatization is just one way that public universities are exploring new funding methods.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Economics
    • Master of Public Administration and Policy
    • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MSN to DNP
    • MSN to DNP in Nurse Practitioner
    • MSN to DNP in Executive Nurse Leader
    • RN to MSN
    • RN to MSN Bridge
    • MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN Bridge in Nursing Leadership
    • MSN in Nurse Educator
    • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts in Arts Administration
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Master of Education in Special Education Intervention
    • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Leadership
    • Master of Social Work

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Government Analytics
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
    • MS in Food Safety Regulation
    • Certificate in Science Writing
    • Certificate in Science, Technology, and International Security Studies
    • Post-Master Acute Care Pediatric Certificate - Online

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
    • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
    • Master of Arts in International Development
    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Special Education
    • Master of Science in Accountancy
    • RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?