[EAS] Current Economy and Education

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sat Mar 7 21:47:15 EST 2009

from TL INFOBITS	February 2009
(You can read the Web version of this issue and all back issues of 
Infobits at <http://its.unc.edu/tl/infobits>)


The effects of the current economic and demographic situations on 
education are profound and troubling. Here are some recent articles 
that may be of interest.

In "Open Education: A New Paradigm" (UNIVERSITY BUSINESS, vol. 12, 
no. 1, January 2009, pp. 13-14), Michael King writes, "Between 2010 
and 2025, nearly 80 million 'baby boomers' will leave the workforce . 
. . . When this exodus occurs, only 20 percent of workers remaining 
will possess the skills required for most of the jobs being created 
today." This will create demands on educational institutions not only 
to replace vacated faculty positions, but also to help improve the 
skills of the workforce. He thinks that open technologies that foster 
services sharing and innovation can lower the costs of delivering 
education and improve quality.

The article is online at


Although not specifically mentioning e-learning, one of the 
recommendations in "Postsecondary Education Spending Priorities for 
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Policy Advisory to 
State Fiscal Policymakers" has implications for online delivery of 
instruction: "Make investments in course redesign and other curricula 
changes that will make for a more cost-effective curriculum, to be in 
place no later than 2011. This includes redesigning large 
undergraduate courses, creating cost-effective developmental 
education modules that can be delivered statewide; and redesigning 
the general education curriculum to enhance community college 

The paper, published by the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education 
Costs, Productivity, and Accountability; The National Center for 
Public Policy and Higher Education; and the National Center for 
Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), is available at 


Also of interest:

"What Will Happen to State Budgets When the Money Runs Out?"
By Donald J. Boyd
February 19, 2009
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

"States should use the breathing room provided by the stimulus 
package to mute and spread out baseline spending cuts and/or tax 
increases they will need to make, to restructure programs, and to 
allow for orderly decisionmaking. But they cannot count on it to 
substitute for these difficult decisions."

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