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By age 63, I had become a successful, wealthy entrepreneur many times over. Incensed that the son of an employee had been denied admission to medical school despite having adequate credentials, I decided to open my own institution.

Open source is like solar energy. I'm absolutely, 100 percent in favor of it where and when it's viable. You should be, too. In cases where it isn't a good bet, I swallow my pride, compromise my values, and keep paying my electric bills.

When I first began teaching at Queensborough Community College 34 years ago, I had a student who was a grade-school teacher. The first generation of kids exposed to "educational television" was entering his classroom. Are they better students, I asked? Is this great pedagogical experiment a success?

Most discussions on the rise of for-profit colleges begin and end with an arbitrary moral judgment that there's something inherently wrong with for-profit colleges, or an unfounded assertion that these institutions offer inferior academic programs.

The anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist strikes will always be a sad and bitter one. Yet in the years since, that tragedy has given rise to some serious introspective thought about the roles we play as individuals, communities, businesses, and institutions of higher education during emergency situations.

In April 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seized the high ground in the debates about the ownership of intellectual property associated with the teaching and learning process. MIT's president, Charles Vest, announced the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, with the support of $11 million in funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.