The U.S. Academic Profession: Some Thoughts on the Past, Present, and Future

Essays in Education, Vol. 22, Fall 2008

5 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2008

Date Written: Fall 2008


This paper examines the authors 35 year path through U.S. higher education. Personal experience combined with scholarly work combines to shed light on the academic profession and colleges and universities. Being a student in 4 different decades in many different institutions of higher education has provided personal insight. Tired of the disjointed array of classes taught very rarely with any passion, the author made sure his daughter found a different college, St. Johns College. The author has observed the ever increasing country club nature of higher education with its rampant privileging of privilege, jobism, credentialing, and mere training. Robert Hutchins observations long before Academic capitalism are noted. Discussion is centered around professors and how the massive increase in administrators has changed their work while they refuse to see. External funds as a source of change, especially in teaching is discussed. Diversity is noted while sameness is recognized. Differences in pay has developed over time. Differentiation is noted while commonality exits. The problem with the cult of efficiency, capital, and business managers in the university. The loss of human development for social control is considered. Why history of education should be taught.

Keywords: higher education, history of higher education, professors, academic professional, economics of education, college administration, teaching college diversity

JEL Classification: A13, D63, D73, D78, E24, E61, E65, H10, H40, I20, I21, I22, J31, J38, J44, J50, K10

Suggested Citation

Simpson, Michael W., The U.S. Academic Profession: Some Thoughts on the Past, Present, and Future (Fall 2008). Essays in Education, Vol. 22, Fall 2008, Available at SSRN:

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