Meanwhile enjoy this Guardian column by John Sutherland describing how the British higher education system has evolved over the past four decades (via Crooked Timber). Many of the same issues apply in America and I suspect many other countries as well. Sutherland sums it up nicely.
The big question. Is the whole system in better or worse shape than it was in 1964? I don't know. All I do know is that I'd like to do it all again, and get it right this time.