© 2019

The Uncertain Future of American Public Higher Education

Student-Centered Strategies for Sustainability

  • Identifies the serious challenges that policy makers and higher education leaders must understand and address to ensure the sustainability of public Higher Education

  • Provides the first in-depth examination of the health and future viability of the US public higher education infrastructure from the perspective of a former university president

  • Offers policy solutions for a diverse range of stakeholders including legislators, state higher education officials, trustees, presidents, donors, and academics


About this book


This book addresses the costly non-sustainable policies, programs, practices, and priorities currently driving the tuition crisis in American public higher education. In this era of growing competition among public colleges and universities for more students and higher rankings, their leaders and governing boards have lost sight of student-centered missions in favor of more and greater non-education related amenities, facilities, programs, and practices that have added substantially to the cost of a college degree without increasing its quality. This book is an appeal to all interested taxpaying citizens, public officials, governors, governing boards, and university presidents to take a second look at these costly decisions and begin a new era of placing the higher education needs and interests of students above all. We have created this tuition crisis; now we must solve it. 


Public Higher Education Tenure Campus Lecture Textbooks Intercollegiate Sports Presidential Salaries Student Demographics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of ToledoToledoUSA

About the authors

Daniel M. Johnson is President Emeritus at the University of Toledo, USA. He has also served in senior leadership positions in public higher education in Texas, Alaska, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Bibliographic information


“Johnson kicks a hornet’s nest of issues confronting our revered system of higher education. While various constituents of higher ed may be inclined to nitpick his litany of insights, they would do so at their collective peril. The unintended consequences of sticking with the status quo or tinkering at the margins could have dire effects. This is a clarion call for bold and innovative change.” (Lee Gorsuch, President Emeritus, City University of Seattle, USA)

 “The Uncertain Future of American Public Higher Education is a must-read for all of our country’s higher education leaders, from university presidents, to governing boards, to state and federal policy makers. A former university president himself, Johnson draws on his many years of experience: first defending the status quo, then aggressively leading needed change and candidly identifying the sacred academic traditions that have created this crisis.” (Tom Brady, Entrepreneur and Former Dean of Education at University of Toledo, USA)

“This thought-provoking book goes to the heart of why restructuring our entire education system is critical for our nation and our students’ future. He shines a bright light on what changes need to be made.” (Bob Holden, Governor of Missouri, 2001-2005, USA)

“Dan Johnson articulates the necessity for a strong and effective higher education system by addressing the critical challenges it faces and offering potential solutions in the areas of leadership, planning, tuition, educational attainment, quality and efficiency, tenure, and intercollegiate athletics. This is a must read for policymakers, university presidents, politicians, journalists, university trustees and regents.” (James M. Tuschman, Former Chairman, Ohio Board of Regents, USA)