The theories about our time, the next decade, and “the future” are many. Most of them have some
relevance to what we collectively need to do to insure our own future and that of the nation. I’m sure all of
you are aware of Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat, but in case you haven’t had the opportunity
to read it, Friedman’s thesis is that the quantum leaps in technology in the recent past have led us into an
age in which we and our institutions and students are in a competition with others all around the world. He
uses interesting illustrations to show us what he means, such as the “out-sourcing” of jobs that means the
phone call you got last week asking you to contribute to something or buy something probably originated in
India’s Bangalore or Bangladesh, or some other place on some other continent. Our communications
technology enables “real time” conversations anywhere, and since we are a capitalist country and capitalists
are always looking for the next dollar, why are we surprised? Isn’t it obvious that workers in third world
countries will make those solicitation calls for pennies compared to what our workers would require?
Madeleine Green, the Vice President for International Initiatives at ACE, suggests that because the
globalization of higher education is changing things so rapidly, all of us must be alert to and aware of such
activities as the development of a global outcomes test for higher education, particularly because we seem
to be falling behind many others in existing test results.
"New Models for a "Flat" World,"
Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy:
Vol. 0, Article 44.
Available at: http://thekeep.eiu.edu/jcba/vol0/iss3/44