Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs

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On Monday, October 13, 2014, William G. Bowen delivered the opening address at Rice University's De Lange Conference, "Technology: Its Potential Impact On The National Need To Improve Educational Outcomes And Control Costs." We are pleased to publish it here as an Ithaka S+R issue brief. Bowen, who is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and also president emeritus of Princeton University, was the founding chairman of JSTOR/ITHAKA and continues to serve on ITHAKA's board.

The paper explores the extent to which higher education in the United States is falling short in satisfying the nation's need for improved educational outcomes and how technology might be employed to overcome the significant hurdles colleges and universities face. But, technology is not a panacea, and Bowen believes that faculty roles and higher education governance itself will need to evolve if we are to reach our goals of having more students attain degrees in less time and at a lower cost.

This spring, Ithaka S+R will be publishing, in conjunction with Princeton University Press, Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education. This book, co-authored by Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin, touches on many of the themes in this paper.