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Episode 344.1
Dec 22, 2020

A higher ed crisis is a terrible thing to waste (rerun)

This fall is going to be tough on colleges and universities. But it's also an opportunity to increase budgets, cut costs and leverage technology to make higher ed as accessible as it used to be.

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays, so we’re revisiting some favorite episodes from 2020. We want to say a big thank you for being part of the Make Me Smart family this year — every voicemail, question and donation makes a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help us raise $500,000 for Marketplace before the end of the year! Donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year!

The rock-climbing walls, sushi bars and student center bowling alleys will likely sit empty this fall.

The nation’s colleges and universities are wrestling with how to reopen, if they reopen at all. During the spring semester, we learned that online learning has significant limitations, according to our guest, New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway. And, he says, welcoming back students and faculty in the fall? That’d be like “Contagion 2.”

Galloway predicts that scores, if not hundreds, of colleges could go out of business or won’t look the same ever again. But there’s also a huge opportunity here to remake higher education, says Galloway, who co-hosts New York magazine’s “Pivot” podcast and has a new TV show on Vice.

He’s calling for a “grand bargain” between public universities, state government and American families. With increased public funding, cost containment, lower tuition and new technology, Galloway says, universities could take a “hybrid” approach to teaching and greatly expand the number of freshman students they bring in each year.

Today, we’re going to spend some time talking with Galloway about this “silver lining the size of the Cloud” and how to rethink money in public education.

Later, we’ll look at new evidence that wearing a face mask can save the economy and another side of the education question facing parents this fall. Plus, an educator tells us about the little things he misses when teaching online, and Chicago artist/community college advancement director Rhonda Brown answers the Make Me Smart question.

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Here’s a list of some of the stuff we’re talking about today:

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The team

Molly Wood Host
Donna Tam Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Marissa Cabrera Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior producer