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Higher Education and Society

Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Higher education and society are becoming increasingly intertwined. Both act as a transmitter of culture, yet many colleges and universities also ideally seek to create a more perfectible society and more enlightened, engaged citizens. When the connections between social structures and post-secondary education are closely entangled, the university’s aims can take on a contentious struggle for identity in a vexing web of competing external interests – especially in light of scarce economic resources, corporate pressures, technological questions, and globalizing trends. Higher Education and Society weighs the urgent question of how society and higher education influence each other. How the latter responds to that unsettled issue may well determine whether colleges and universities chart a more self-reflective path or one of rising deference to societal contingencies. This book is essential for all those who study and work in today’s colleges – and for all those who seek a better education for their children, the nation, and the world. It is especially recommended for courses in higher education and society, contemporary issues in higher education, the philosophy of higher education, academic issues in higher education, leadership in higher education, and globalization and higher education. The book is also useful for the preparation of faculty development programs in colleges and universities.
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12. Higher Education and the Capitalist Turn: Research and Reflections

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ERIC MARGOLIS AND MICHAEL SOLDATENKO

This chapter is the result of our personal experiences as well as research in the literature on higher education. Arizona State University (ASU) has the largest student body in the United States and during the 21st century has developed a model for the neoliberal university further than any state university—a self-acknowledged “New American University.”1 California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) is one of 23 campuses in the California State System, the largest four-year public university enrolling nearly 450,000 students and searching for its place in the neoliberal university marketplace. The authors each have about 45 years of experience in American universities ranging from the Ivy League to community colleges. During those years the most profound change took place in the history of the university; it transitioned from a state-supported institution primarily concerned with social betterment to a service institution that prepares students for future employment, competing in a market with similar institutions for student tuition and fees.

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