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ERIC Number: ED427611
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Crisis Crisis in Higher Education: Is That a Wolf or a Pussycat at the Academy's Door? ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Birnbaum, Robert; Shushok, Frank
This paper reviews the literature using the word "crisis" in relation to current higher education and analyzes claims of three specific crises of the past 25 years. It considers reasons why educational institutions may be particularly vulnerable to claims of crisis and offers some ideas about the nature of higher education crises and the purposes they serve. Analysis of the literature suggests that institutional crises in higher education fall into four categories: (1) pandemic crises, those that are continual or appear with great frequency, e.g., finance; (2) chronic crises, those that are of moderate continuity and frequency, e.g., diversity/equity; (3) sporadic crises, e.g., student unrest; and (4) idiosyncratic crises, e.g., collective bargaining. The more detailed analysis examines the pandemic crisis of finance, the chronic crisis of confidence, and the chronic crisis of stagnation. It is suggested that the strong rhetoric of crisis is used to gain attention, power, and control of organizational and symbolic processes. The paper concludes that although there are serious problems in higher education, there are probably no more crises now than there have ever been. (Contains 97 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A