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Riding the Fifth Wave in Higher Education

A Survival Guide for the New Normal

James Ottavio Castagnera

The Fifth Wave in higher education is breaking on American shores. Unlike the four waves that preceded it from colonial times through the post-WWII mega-versity expansion, this wave is disrupting all sectors of the higher education industry. It will sweep away those institutions—be they public, private non-profit, or for-profit—that fail to recognize and meet the threat. Harvard professor Clay Christensen, the father of "disruptive innovation," predicts that as many as half of all American universities will close or go bankrupt within the next 10 to 15 years (See Inside Higher Ed, April 28, 2017).

Riding the Fifth Wave in Higher Education: A Survival Guide for the New Normal charts the dimensions of the Fifth Wave challenge and offers numerous general and specific suggestions for surfing the wave and surviving its tsunami-like impact. Part One of this concise handbook explains why our industry is in treacherous waters and outlines the impact of the Fifth Wave to date on all three major sectors of American higher ed. Part Two offers a range of practical responses, including ways we might break out of the tuition-discount "death spiral" and the facilities "arms race," as well as identifying our prospects for removing the albatross of onerous federal regulations from around our necks before it drags us under. If you have time to read only one book about today’s crisis in American higher education, Riding the Fifth Wave in Higher Education is the right choice. If you plan to research the topic in depth, Riding the Fifth Wave in Higher Education is the perfect place to start.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Castagnera, James, author. Title: Riding the fifth wave in higher education: a survival guide for the new normal / James Ottavio Castagnera. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2018. Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2017028852 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3372-5 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3371-8 (pbk.: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4705-0 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-4706-7 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4707-4 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Education, Higher—Aims and objectives—United States. Education, Higher—United States—Finance. Universities and colleges—United States—Finance. Universities and colleges—United States—Administration. Education, Higher—Effect of technological innovations on—United States. Classification: LCC LA227.4 .C38 | DDC 378/.01—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11606 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2018 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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