As college tuition skyrockets and student debt explodes, this powerful new documentary reveals a nationwide fight for control of the heart, soul and finances of America’s public universities. Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher ed right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a radical, market-oriented reform effort. It’s a story that marries political corruption to a toxic ideological fight in a way that is both shocking and perfectly timed for the debates unfolding now in the presidential political season. The film reveals an historic philosophical shift that reframes public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the student as a consumer, rather than an investment in citizens as a ‘public good’. Financial winners and losers emerge in a struggle poised to profoundly change public higher education. The film vividly illustrates these issues in unfolding dramas at six public research universities: University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, and Texas A&M.