Starving the Beast
According to STARVING THE BEAST, there's a battle going on in America's public universities, pitting well-funded reformers pushing a "market based" approach (i.e. profit-generating) to education against those championing the ideal of pursuing knowledge for its own sake. Little-known outside the realm of higher education, this fight may in fact be undermining the entire learning process, says director Steve Mims' thought-provoking film. The movie focuses on six schools -- the University of Wisconsin, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, the University of Texas, and Texas A&M -- where recent challenges to unseat administrators have been waged in an attempt to redefine academia's entire mission. The goal of activists like Jeff Sandefer is to treat university schooling as a commodity, and he sees students as the consumers. In that scenario, success is measured by satisfying the customers by delivering a product they like. But traditional academics reject that strategy because it fails to challenge students and they fear it will eventually mean dumbing-down the country's top research institutions.
Director Steve Mims