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Professor James Castagnera Writes Book Exploring Seismic Change in Higher Education  

James Ottavio Castagnera

December 12, 2017

Professor James Ottavio Castagnera's new book, “Riding the Fifth Wave in Higher Education: A Survival Guide for the New Normal,” will be published by Peter Lang Inc. on Dec. 30.

The book, after tracing four prior stages in the evolution of higher education, outlines a fifth stage driven by technology and digital communications that will consolidate colleges and universities and favor curricula focused on career and professional development at the expense of disciplines that encourage critical thinking.

“In his important new book, James Ottavio Castagnera analyzes the current fierce wave of change in higher education driven by market economic forces, income inequality, technology, and the transformation of higher education from a social value into a commodity,” said William A. Herbert, executive director of the National Center for the Study of Collecting Bargaining in Higher Education and Professions at Hunter College. “The book should be read by everyone interested and concerned about the state of higher education.”

Castagnera, a member of the adjunct faculty, has spent decades as a communication specialist and attorney, principally in higher education. He has been a law professor at several institutions and is currently associate provost and counsel for the Academic Affairs Division of Rider University.

His teaching has taken him to the University of Texas-Austin, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Widener University School of Law.

He also has been a management-side labor lawyer with a major Philadelphia law firm and the general counsel/corporate secretary for the then-largest convenience store chain in New Jersey and for the nation’s number one econometric forecasting organization.

“His lifetime of experience makes him exceptionally qualified to opine on the present state of American higher education,” said Kline School of Law Dean Daniel Filler.

At Kline, Castagnera teaches Human Resources Compliance: Managing the Employer/Employee Relationship.