Higher education is very much in the news these days, and the role that colleges and universities play in American life has been under careful scrutiny. Unfortunately, much of the discussion by public figures, citizens, and even educators has been highly critical of our academic institutions: and the serious decline of public confidence in higher education approaches the dimensions of a national tragedy. As Alan Pifer of the Carnegie Corporation recently said, "the damage already done is extensive and it will be catastrophic if public estrangement from the campus is allowed to continue." Pifer went on to say that remedies include pressing ahead with the administrative and educational reforms on which many colleges and universities are now embarked, including paring away unnecessary expense, dropping unproductive activities, reducing the length of time required to gain degrees through better articulation of programs and courses, reexaming faculty loads in terms of actual productivity, and carefully reviewing every aspect of university operations (including teaching and research) in order to be certain that "in a moral sense (higher education) really does qualify for public trust and approval."
teaching effectiveness, American education system