the university to have remained aloof or disconnected from
the society.
Nonetheless, service is a gift, often a pro bono gift to so-
ciety, but we have come to take it for granted as a responsi-
bility of the university and the due of the society. Today
every highly developed nation depends on the application
of university research and expertise to address its social
problems and to continue its advancement. However, no
other educational provider engages in this activity. None
can substitute for the university in providing it, and there
are great limits to which the private sector and not-for-
profit think tanks can fill the gap.
The Combination
The activities of the university are traditionally de-
scribed as teaching, research, and service. At the majority
of universities, only one of these activities, teaching or the
transmission of knowledge, generates revenue. The money
comes from tuition, not from creation, preservation, or ap-
plication of knowledge. Research or creation is like college
football: It is an income producer at a relatively small num-
ber of schools; the rest lose money.
For this reason, the new educational providers are only
competing with traditional higher education in the area of
teaching and they are only interested in the high-margin,
high-volume fields. If nonuniversity educators make signifi-
Chapter 2 Higher Education
35
cant headway and manage to wrest important areas of in-
struction away from the university, they will leave higher
education with the lower revenue, high-cost areas of in-
struction and the research and service functions. This com-
bination is not financially viable because the university
cannot support itself with these activities.
Even more important, it is not an intellectually viable
combination either. There is a history of nations and higher
education institutions that have separated research and
teaching. The result is a feeble university staffed by peda-
gogues, teachers (not scholars) who are removed from
cutting-edge research. The consequence is necessarily an
arid and outdated curriculum. The quality of graduates––in
knowledge of content and methods of advancing knowl-
edge––is far poorer, particularly on the graduate level, than
at institutions that join research and teaching.
One of the greatest risks we face as a nation in the
growth of new educational providers is the unbundling of
the teaching, research, and service functions. These func-
tions are inextricably intertwined––the creation, preserva-
tion, dissemination, and application of knowledge. They
should be regarded as indivisible in the sense that each in-
forms, strengthens, and builds on the others. As teaching is
weakened without linkage to knowledge creation, so too is
knowledge creation without connection to preservation,
The Wired Tower
36

Get Wired Tower: Perspectives on the Impact of the Internet on Higher Education, The now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.