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What would American public higher education look like if it was unencumbered by its own history? What if it were designed from scratch today, in full view of everything we have come to know about student learning, schooling, and our projections about the future of knowledge and work? This thought experiment project does just that. After justifying the need for a thoroughgoing redesign now, the backward-designed axiomatic approach is used to determine the essential features of public education, which are assembled into a model that centers teamed learning and is organized around authentic questions from learners or their community.