To read this content please select one of the options below:

The University – the shifting past

Tom P. Abeles (Editor – On The Horizon, Sagacity, Minneapolis, MN, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 6 May 2014




This paper aims to discuss the shifting purpose of the post-secondary institutions since the first-century founding, the fundamental changes in the mid-nineteenth century and the various factors pushing for competitive innovations and alternatives to the current institutions.


This editorial piece is a cross-disciplinary critical analysis.


Universities are faced with a series of disruptive innovations. While academia applies the theories of disruptive innovation to a variety of institutions, it is slow to turn these tools inward. Currently, this imperils the institution at all levels from groundskeepers of physical campuses to faculty and administrative personnel in virtual space. Knowledge is now fungible and transferable across geo/political boundaries.


This is an original piece assessing the effects of the cost of knowledge acquisition asymptotically approaching zero on the institution that, at one time, was the gatekeeper and transmitter of such knowledge.



P. Abeles, T. (2014), "The University – the shifting past", On the Horizon, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 101-110.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles