workshops, talks or webinars

EdSurge Live: Can Colleges Innovate Without Becoming 'McDonaldized'

Online Sep 25 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Price: Free


These days, some colleges are looking to the business world for inspiration on anything from to creating cultures of innovation to updating teaching practices and student services.

At the same time, there’s a growing critique by scholars that colleges are becoming too much like corporations, in ways that are at odds with the spirit of the academy. One popular line of argument is outlined in the 2002 book “The McDonaldization of Higher Education,” by Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard, who assert that when college leaders adopt corporate practices in their reforms, they bring efficiency, predictability and control to the academic process, but at the expense of the core values of the academy.

Even college innovation leaders see merit in the critique, while arguing that colleges must find new ways to operate to remain relevant to students and to face tough budget challenges.

We outlined this tension in a recent article, and we’ve decided to bring two leaders quoted in the article together to further discuss the issues and to take questions from readers. Join us on Tuesday, September 25 at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET and bring your questions and ideas to share with our guests:

  • Dennis Hayes, co-author of the book "The McDonaldization of Higher Education,” and a professor of education at the University of Derby.
  • Kristen Eshleman, director of digital innovation at Davidson College, who has grappled with such critiques in her essays on innovation.

EdSurge Live: Can Colleges Innovate Without Becoming 'McDonaldized'

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