Liberal Arts education, and Stanley Fish's essay excoriating UPhoenix, are under discussion over at Maggie's. I have only a half-formed thought, standing back from a more sociological (or even anthropological) view, which I am hoping folks can help me flesh out.
Any industry which regulates itself moves to a protectionism of the persons and values of its own elite.
Any industry regulated by the government moves to protect the persons and values of a different elite, sometimes overlapping, sometimes competitive.
Any industry regulated entirely by commercial concerns coarsens and adulterates its product, but is also the source for all innovation.
Regulation by church seems more varied and mixed, but includes a propensity to devoting enormous resources to wild geese that do not create the improvements hoped for.
There is considerable interpenetration of these in any complex society, and corruption or exploitation can come from many directions.
I frankly don't know what the proper balance of these is.