We must take on the naysayers directly, wrest the machinery of government from their dead cold hands, and make the necessary investments in our public colleges and universities. Only then will we be standing up for the original intent of California's path-breaking Master Plan for Higher Education.
As the need for education has grown, we have placed higher burdens on those who can least afford it: students and working families. Many students are leaving college with debt levels that would have financed a home mortgage in previous generations.
It may not be a teacher appreciation gift like the ones the kids get their instructors, but having students able to recall the important lessons, and have some fond memories of their academic experiences, can be just as good.
Accountability is a hallmark of public higher education. In our commitment to student success, we will need more accurate and comprehensive measures of student progress--both as a yardstick for institutional improvement and to assure external accountability.
AASCU proposes a federal matching program to stop the privatization of public higher education. Called the Federal-State College Affordability Partnership, it would leverage up to $15 billion in federal student aid dollars to incentivize states to invest in public higher education.
Social scientists are living in increasingly challenging times. In states like North Carolina there is a politically driven movement to dump the "irrelevant" and "unproductive" social sciences and humanities into the academic dustbin. What can be done to salvage the liberal arts?
Many higher education observers were applauding last week when the decision from a U.S. District Judge declared that the state of Maryland had failed in its obligation to eliminate traces of de jure segregation in its system of public higher education.
At stake is our collective ability to maintain college affordability and to maximize the transformative effect that America's public colleges and universities have on individuals' lives and on the very economic and social fabric of our communities, states, and nation.