ERIC Number: ED349935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
The Postindustrial University: Fiscal Crisis and the Changing Structure of Academic Labour.
Barrow, Clyde W.
This paper, in reflecting on socioeconomic trends that will affect higher education in the 1990s, argues for a "postindustrial" university model. The paper predicts that the current fiscal crisis in American higher education will persist throughout the 1990s as a result of: (1) slowly rising state appropriations, (2) market constrains on pricing, (3) non-deferrable capital maintenance requirements, (4) a "baby boom echo", and (5) faculty shortages by the end of the 1990s. The argument suggests that the convergence of the first three trends has lead to a fiscal crisis that will only intensify as the fourth and fifth trends strike campuses during the mid- and latter 1990s. The paper goes on to suggest that academic administrators are responding by emulating the restructuring strategy pursued by private corporations during the previous decade. After discussing the limitations of this response, the paper advances an alternative, the postindustrial model. This model structures academic labor through selective excellence in which institutions eliminate weak programs and maintain strength in fewer areas; with flexible specialization in which the workforce is organized to allow quick shifting from one task to another; and by workforce dualization (stable, well-paid flexible specialists and a peripheral workforce of temporary and part-time employees). Included are 86 endnotes. (Author/JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fiscal Response; Postindustrialism