At the University Unbound summit sponsored by the New England Board of Higher Education this past Monday, Princeton Review founder and 2tor.com CEO John Katzman indicated that, if colleges and universities are going to use technology to expand their offering through MOOCs and other online programs, they must achieve a large enough scale of enrollments to make that technology pay for itself. He predicted that this would lead to massive consolidations in various segments of higher education (e.g., elite 4-year programs, mid-range four-year programs, entry-level two-year programs, etc.).
Two days later, Phoenix University announced a substantial retrenchment due at least partially to increased competition from other on-line providers. Is this the opening salvo in the university technology wars? Stay tuned.