Privatization and the Public Good

Privatization and the Public Good Public Universities in the Balance

Matthew T. Lambert, Foreword by Patrick M. Callan
paper, 344 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-731-6
Price: $33.00

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“Public education is in crisis—and it has been for some time. The problem is, no one can agree on the problem, and when there is no agreement on the problem, developing solutions is nearly impossible.” Thus writes Matthew T. Lambert in this study of present-day public higher education, which is currently plagued by momentous challenges.


In a thoughtful and engaging style, Lambert’s redefined and enlarged understanding of the term “privatization” offers an intriguing prism through which to view the context of change in public universities and to engage in “spirited public dialogue” that examines the fundamental forces now pummeling our institutions of higher learning. — Gerald L. Baliles, director and CEO, Miller Center, University of Virginia, and Governor of Virginia, 1986–1990

Lambert has provided a great service to leaders of public universities and elected officials by framing the debate about the future of public universities, even as state revenues remain unpredictable. He provides compelling evidence that public purposes need not be—and should not be—sacrificed at the altar of market forces. Lambert’s book is a must-read for all those who care about public higher education — Joni Finney, director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education and professor of higher education, University of Pennsylvania

This book brings a new and unusually balanced perspective to the tensions now challenging public higher education in the United States. Lambert has provided an extremely insightful analysis of those tensions, and proposes important steps that could be taken to reduce them and restore public confidence in these institutions, which are so critical to the nation’s future. — James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus, University of Michigan

Mathew Lambert’s Privatization and the Public Good proves that one can talk to a lot of politicians and not only survive, but come away with a truly nuanced understanding of how higher education policy is being made today: who talks, who listens, and who just plows ahead seemingly lost in the details of making policy for a complex set of market enterprises. Lambert’s book is a crucial contribution to our understanding of public universities in the United States today. — Robert Zemsky, professor and chair, The Learning Alliance, University of Pennsylvania

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About the Author

Matthew T. Lambert is the Vice President for University Advancement at The College of William & Mary, where he also teaches undergraduate and graduate students in public policy and education. Prior to working at William & Mary, he managed multiple areas of university advancement at Georgetown University, where he also taught in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Lambert received his bachelor’s degree from William & Mary, his master’s degree from The Ohio State University, and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests center on the changing landscape of American higher education, where new models of public and private support will shape educational institutions in the century ahead. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Patrick M. Callan

Interview with Author

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