All of what happened is horrible. That said, the thing I find fascinating about the whole incident, is it may be one of several triggers that pops the entire higher ed bubble itself, which I’d like your opinion about, Heather.
The tribulations of higher ed are pretty well documented at this point. On the lib arts side, there’s the whole cultural postmodernism and/or neomarxism and/or Critical Theory thing. On the technical side, there’s the P-hacking, the research dollar pressure, the voluminous academic journal material of questionable value, etc. Both are signs of poorly designed incentive structures turned up to “eleven” by the federal student loan program until the academic engine shakes loose of its mounting bracket. And then there’s the simple fact that the ROI on a degree simply isn’t there.
Jordan has spoken about (paraphrased) “why would I go back to teaching when I can reach far more people on youtube?” You and Bret have similarly spoken about possibly doing something new and innovative from a teaching perspective. I look across the landscape and I see Georgia Tech starting to issue completely valid masters degrees for a few grand via online courses, and the Khan Academy blowing up. Looks to me like the whole thing is on the precipice of tumbling down tremendously.
Are you and Bret positioned to benefit from that crash? And if so, do you mind sharing how? It’s a topic I’ve thought a lot about, as a licensed civil engineer and former adjunct.