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Lloyd A. Jacobs, M.D.

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Higher Education's Decision for the Future: Discomfort or Irrelevance

Posted: 09/20/2012 6:19 pm

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less."

The words of former general Eric Shinseki, the U.S. Secretary for Veterans Affairs, are applicable to so many pieces of our society. But it is universities that most need to have those words in mind if they want to continue to be charged with educating others'.

Universities that choose not to or are unable to adapt to revolutionary changes in the way higher education is delivered will simply not exist in the decades to come.

This was the uncomfortable message I gave to University of Toledo community members and Toledo elected and business leaders during my annual address to the community on September 13.

It is fashionable these days to assert that the business model for higher education is broken, that innovation in our core business of teaching and learning is largely unattainable. University presidents describe themselves as "incrementalists" while a revolutionary like Salman Khan is transforming education around them.

Our goal must be to place the student at the center of our strategy and strive not for self-preservation, but for the prosperity, longevity, personal fulfillment and good health of our students now and into the future.

I encourage you to click here to view the solutions I spoke of and why I believe history will look back on Mr. Khan as one of the most important education innovators for decades, and perhaps centuries, to come.

 
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