July 18, 2006

In which I mention John Lombardi, Philip Kotler, and Ernest Boyer in the same paragraph

Today's John Lombardi column at Inside Higher Ed continues a discussion of the tensions of higher education that I had described a week before. Lombardi uses a marketing metaphor to explain how tuition cost-shifting over the past generation has pushed colleges and universities to cater more to students. He does so far more effectively than the facile uses of "marketing" that all of us are familiar with. Then again, as an historian who belongs to the Social Science History Association, I'm a sucker for someone who uses social-science concepts to explain change. Lombardi's central conceit—the notion of multiple consumers—is not new; an early edition of Philip Kotler's basic marketing-management text made the same point years ago. But it's useful to have the idea put into language some will find easier to digest. And it's always nice to have someone refer to my column as "helpful commentary." In the selfish career part of my brain, this episode gets categorized as the "scholarship of application," a la Boyer (1990).

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Posted in Education policy on July 18, 2006 7:17 AM |