What higher education can learn from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was not a nice man: this is made abundantly clear by Walter Isaacson’s compelling new biography of the propulsive force behind Apple, says Brain Rosenberg, president of Macalester College for the Huffington Post. He was, however, almost preternaturally insightful about such things as the nature of the creative process, the relationship between a product and its user, and the need for balance between complexity and simplicity. There are lessons in Jobs’ success that are I believe directly relevant to higher education, though they may not be the most obvious ones. Whether or not the tablet computer will replace the traditional textbook or distance learning will increasingly displace the traditional classroom I cannot say. The lessons to which I refer are more fundamental and touch upon how higher education imagines itself today and in the future. Three of Jobs’ particular insights have stuck with me since I finished reading the story of his life…

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