Rona Stein (OCLC) has published a post on the Hanging Together blog entitled “University Futures, Library Futures: a multi-dimensional model of US higher education institutions,” which reports on a collaborative project between OCLC and Ithaka S+R, supported by the Mellon Foundation. The project involved developing a model and a framework for use in “exploring emerging directions in US higher education, to better understand the institutional needs that academic libraries will need to support and advance in years to come.”
The task we undertook to fulfill was to push beyond the commonly used Carnegie Classification of US higher education institutions in order to shed new light on US higher education institutions and their libraries’ fit. In our collaborative work with Ithaka S+R it was agreed that OCLC would be developing a working model of US higher education institutions, while Ithaka S+R would be charged with developing a library services framework.
One dimension of the OCLC model characterizes three categories of primary educational activity: Research, Liberal education, and Career preparation. Additionally, the model concerns how institutions are engaging in these activities, with “Traditional-residential” and “New-Traditional-Flexible” modes of provision. All of these dimensions are designed to uncover what institutions are offering, and how and for whom they are provided. Extended details of the categories (along with visualizations of each) are available in the post.