The True Genius of America at Risk

Wiscape Banner


Main Office

School of Education
353 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/265-6342

or by contact form


Facebook logo Twitter logo


The True Genius of America at Risk: Are We Losing Our Public Universities to De Facto Privatization?


Katharine Lyall (BIO)

President Emerita, University of Wisconsin System
Visiting Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Kathleen Sell

Senior Lecturer, Integrated Liberal Studies
Faculty Affiliate, WISCAPE
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Former Associate Vice President and Chief Budget Officer
University of Wisconsin System

Book Cover: The True Genius of America at Risk


Under WISCAPE sponsorship, UW System President Emerita Katharine Lyall and Kathleen Sell, the UW System's former chief budget officer, were able to complete research forming the basis of this book on the political and fiscal trends behind declining public support for postsecondary education.

In The True Genius of America at Risk: Are We Losing Our Public Universities to De Facto Privatization?, Lyall and Sell respond to these trends by opening a candid public policy discussion about the future of public higher education in America. They describe the market forces that are eroding the traditional partnership between states and public universities and explain how the search for new revenue sources is refocusing the basic mission of these schools. The authors also clarify what can be done to save these valuable institutions with an in-depth examination of state experiments in higher education funding systems and structures.

Lyall was recently a senior visiting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Sell, a political philosopher, is also a senior lecturer in the Integrated Liberal Studies program at UW–Madison and senior staff affiliate at WISCAPE.

The True Genius of America at Risk was published on Dec. 30, 2005 by Greenwood Publishing Group as part of the ACE/Praeger Series on Higher Education. The book includes a foreword by UW–Madison Chancellor Emeritus and ACE President David Ward and has also received endorsements from Association of American Universities (AAU) President Nils Hasselmo; Russell Edgerton, president emeritus of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE); Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS); and Dean David Breneman of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.

Purchasing Information

The book can be purchased through Rowman & Littlefield and

© 2018 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.