Higher Education Reform in Motion (Opinion)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention. As we have shown in our first three posts in this series on higher education, there is much necessity. This necessity has spawned "inventions" and innovations ranging from system changes at the federal, state and local levels to individual initiatives. In this final post, we provide a Whitman's sampler of some of the approaches that are being discussed or are underway in the areas that we analyzed in our prior posts: costs; graduation and placement rates, return on investment, career education and skill development, teacher preparation; technology and education; and the nation's primary and secondary education system. Corralling Costs: As Andrew Martin reports in his May 14 New York Times article titled, "Slowly, as Student Debt Rises, Colleges Confront Costs," colleges have begun the cost control conversation but there has been little real substantive progress to date. Jeff Selingo, editorial director of The Chronicle of Higher Education, reinforces Mr. Martin's perspective in his June 25, 2012 New York Times article stating, "...university leaders desperately need to transform how colleges do business." Fortunately, there are numerous resources such as James Garland's Saving Alma Mater: A Rescue Plan for America's Public Universities that the leaders of higher education institutions can consult as they initiate their transformation journeys.

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