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Opinion | Why Stanford Should Clone Itself

Opinion | Why Stanford Should Clone Itself
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Opinion | Why Stanford Should Clone Itself

Opinion | Why Stanford Should Clone Itself

Right here’s a revolutionary thought: A high non-public college like Princeton or Yale (or maybe a famend faculty like Amherst or Swarthmore) ought to open a brand new campus.

The establishment wouldn’t should decrease its requirements, as a result of one of the best and brightest would queue for admission. Professors with glittering résumés would bounce on the alternative to show there — certainly, for the adventurous Yale-caliber tutorial, the chance to be current on the creation might be a robust draw. Cities would carry out handstands to land such a college.

Harvard-San Diego, Yale-Houston — this concept is just not merely off the desk in academe. It’s not even inside the realm of those universities’ creativeness. However why ought to it boggle the thoughts? If Yale can open a campus in Singapore, why can’t it begin one in Houston?

Establishments like these, which guard their repute with mother-bear fierceness, predictably concern that in the event that they took such a daring step, their coin-of-the-realm status would undergo and that their U.S. Information & World Report rating would slip a notch or two. But if Harvard-San Diego had been actually a clone of the mom ship, because it might effectively be, it’s arduous to see how the college could be worse off. Quite the opposite — as a result of it will purchase what economists name first-mover benefit, it will be lionized. It’s not arduous to ponder a Invoice Gates or Laurene Powell Jobs writing an eight-figure verify to assist underwrite the enterprise.

Corporations like Tiffany, which visitors in luxurious gadgets, are reluctant to broaden, and De Beers limits the variety of diamonds available on the market. Exclusivity is a vital a part of what they’re promoting, and in the event that they get greater, they threat diluting their model.

Not like Tiffany or De Beers, top-ranked universities don’t promote themselves as avatars of exclusivity. When you take them at their phrase, their calling is to coach one of the best and the brightest — to advertise what Stanford College’s mission assertion calls “the general public welfare.” Educating extra college students who would profit from that chance, not tinkering with the habits of the admissions workplace, is one method to notice that mission.

David Kirp (@DavidKirp) is a professor of the graduate faculty on the College of California, Berkeley, and the writer, most lately, of “The Faculty Dropout Scandal.”

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