Strong forces lead to a withering of academia as it exists today. The major causal forces are the rankings mania, increased division of labor in research, intense publication pressure, academic fraud, dilution of the concept of ‘university’, and inadequate organizational forms for modern research. Academia, in a broader sense understood as ‘the locus of seeking truth and learning through methodological inquiry’, will subsist in different forms. The conclusion is therefore pessimistic with respect to the academic system as it presently exists but not to scholarly endeavour as such. However, the transformation predicted is expected to be fundamental.