One effect of this economic downturn is that commentators have turned their view to the future of higher education, sometimes with startling effect. There has been no shortage of such writing in the past, but with endowments down and resources scarce this seems like a particularly opportune moment to imagine what college education will be like in the not too distant future. In fact, we devoted the Bread Loaf Faculty meeting—held just before classes started—to a discussion of questions focused on the relevance of liberal arts education, and how our current “business model” (a term usually off limits in faculty discussions) may now be under threat.
Here are five articles aimed to spur thinking about where we may be headed. Reactions? How do you think colleges like Middlebury will change in the next decade?