SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 14, 2014

Column: Higher ed can be market smart and mission-centered

The cost and the value of higher education, the short- and long-term impact of student debt, the role of career preparation and accountability for student outcomes are the subject of intense and increasing examination and debate.

Every higher education professional I know is acutely aware of shifting demographic and business models in our industry, and the need to explicitly provide, and show, value for students and their families. We recognize the need to respond to increasing consumer scrutiny, government regulation, and the legitimate evolving needs of employers and the labor force. We understand the pressure to compete and to be responsive to the need to reduce costs and increase value. Whether at a small independent school like Montserrat College of Art or a major university, this is our work. But, it is also our fundamental work to maintain the integrity, excellence and relevance of the education we provide — to educate and prepare students to enter society as thoughtful and contributing citizens, to impassion curiosity and to challenge them to seek truth.

In their 2005 book “Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered,” Robert Zemsky, Gregory Wenger and William Massy outlined the road American higher education has traveled to become less a “public good” and more a “private gain.” They clearly articulated our collective imperative to maintain the centrality of mission to educate, not just train, even in the face of our need to respond to the markets in which we operate. Almost eight years later, the perspectives articulated in their book could not be more pertinent or their prescriptions for change more acute. We leaders and stewards of higher education must carefully calibrate how we respond to the external pressure of the marketplace while still maintaining our responsibility to hold fast and advocate for the central core of values that have made American higher education the envy of the world.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium