While the catalyst for this article came from a scientist, I do not know why the article only investigates that angle in a magazine devoted to the whole institution. Are the circumstances better or worse in the humanities, arts, and social sciences? I have reason to believe they are worse. Three-quarters of all post-secondary teachers are now contingent: teaching for minimal wages and without security or benefits. At the same time, educational debt has become unmanageable.
Still, Princeton has an incoming president who says of Coursera — whose contracts exclude faculty from direct negotiation — that MOOCs “may be able to help change the cost curve at institutions that are facing a lot of pressure.” This needs little translation: That online system will place additional downward pressure on doctorate jobs. Education is facing many crises that threaten to make the enterprise unsuccessful. Where is Princeton’s holistic meditation on these problems?