Here are my candidates for this year's major trends. My New Year's Resolution is not to let my higher ed thinking be shaped by major trends. Resolution 2 is to map a comprehensive alternative funding structure and agenda. But that's for 2013. Here's 2012.
1.Mitt Romney defeated. Higher education won't have to face the ice-age austerity that Romney-Ryan would have imposed on higher ed along with the rest of the public sector, or his plan to reprivatize student loans among other things.
2. Austerity from Obama. Now that he has been liberated from the need to win elections, Obama is doing exactly what he did before this liberation, which is negotiating in back rooms over how few resources to restore to the middle classes and public agencies. Although various public university officials have called for new federal support for public universities, there was no sign of any interest in politics in additional support for public universities.