What Steve Mintz cannot imagine

Steve Mintz has millions of dollars at his disposal to shape the intersection of technology and higher education in the University of Texas System. If you do not know who he is, you can read the Wikipedia article about him, but beware: “A major contributor to [the] article appears to have a close connection with its subject.” It’s that way sometimes with people trying to become more important in social media.

photo of Mintz

Steve Mintz — a happy Texan who has become One with Capitalism, and wants you to be that way too

Mintz is a devoted capitalist. He cannot imagine any other future other than one involving decreased public support for higher education, and increased energies devoted to educators begging the private sector for help. In a way, it’s surprising we do not have a Kickstarter campaign out there already for the UT System. Mintz does not acknowledge any problem with the current state of affairs in which the state of Texas interferes 100% of the time in higher education, but provides less than 20% of its funding. For Mintz, that’s the way of capitalism, and he cannot imagine a world that is different. Mintz is one with other alleged tech gurus who hawk Coursera and edX while merging the discourse of “open education” and entrepreneurship. The goal of enterprises like Coursera and edX is profit. Have you met an administrator in public education whose goal is free and open education run only by faculty members with tech skills?

Yet, there are other ways to proceed.

The prevailing paradigms cannot explain why the economy with the highest level of workforce participation in its governance, the greatest degree of regulation of labourmarket entry through vocational enforcement and the most severe constraints on capital in its banking system should be the most competitive in Europe.


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