Who Killed Higher Education?: Maintaining White Dominance in a Desegregating Era offers a probing and unvarnished look at the causes of the substantial state defunding of public higher education over the last six decades. With the pandemic and cuts to social services, these challenges have only deepened, especially creating real dilemmas for first-generation, minoritized students seeking to complete a college education.

Through extensive analysis of trends in public higher education funding, the book documents and lays bare the ways in which elite, neoliberal decision-makers launched a multi-pronged and attack on public higher education. It highlights the confluence of the enrollment of an increasingly diverse cohort of students in college with the efforts of conservative white legislatures to diminish funding support for public higher education.

Who Killed Higher Education? is an important resource for students in courses on higher education, and diversity in education. It will also provide instruction for boards of trustees, institutional leaders, faculty and key campus constituencies in developing long-term strategies that ensure the access and success of a diverse and talented student body.

chapter |16 pages


chapter 1|45 pages

The Link Between Higher Education and Democracy

A Long History

chapter 2|34 pages

Neoliberalism as a Dominant and Destructive Discourse

Diminishing State Support for Public Education

chapter 3|26 pages

Political-Economic Stealth Agendas

The Koch Brothers and Their Allies

chapter 4|25 pages

Political-Economic Stealth Agendas

Edward Blum and Robert Mercer

chapter 6|20 pages

The Pandemic and Beyond

Implications for Higher Education's Future

chapter 7|47 pages

Moving Forward

Recommendations for Change