As college tuition skyrockets and student debt explodes, a powerful new documentary reveals a nationwide fight for control of the heart, soul, and finances of America’s public universities.
Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a well-financed market-oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public higher education.
The film reveals a historic philosophical shift that reframes public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the student as a consumer, rather than an investment in citizens as a ‘public good’. Financial winners and losers emerge in a struggle poised to profoundly change public higher education.
The film vividly illustrates these issues in unfolding dramas at six public research universities: University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, and Texas A&M.