Open Access And The Duty Of Higher Education

Trent M. Kays | Huffington Post | November 9, 2012

I think we all agree higher education is far too expensive. One could even argue that higher education's current model is unsustainable. It's broken, and it's a hoarder. Higher education doesn't hoard typical items, yet the entire institution of higher education should be on A&E's television show Hoarders.

What does higher education hoard? Knowledge. The currency of the 21st century isn't always money, and it isn't always authority; it's knowledge. The ability to collect, access and employ knowledge is, like in centuries past, a vital ability to surviving in our hyper-mediated world. But, most higher-education institutions and enterprises keep access to knowledge under lock and key. Indeed, these knowledge cartels ensure the populace remains ignorant of the cartels' actions and wholly dependent on the premise that only a few are educated enough to have access.

This is particularly egregious for students. College is costly. Textbooks are costly. Room and board is costly. This is a tragic picture of what higher education has become, especially in the United States. Still, we tolerate it. Many sit back and let this reality slip their understanding. What's most disheartening about this entire situation is that some of the very people who could enact real change are the ones doing nothing...