There’s been a lot of consternation lately about the cost of higher education, skyrocketing student loans and the unfortunate masses of recent grads who only seem to be finding unemployment and financial dependency. The complexity of the entire situation is sufficient to have me writing non-stop for years to come. Everyone has their own opinion and only a small subset have bothered to try and provide a solution. A recent article on Inside Higher Ed, normally a good source of opinion in the higher ed space, caught my attention. It was written by the President of Drake University, David Maxwell.
The basic premise of the article is that college administrators need to play a good offensive attack in order to defend themselves against the negative onslaught brought upon them by the media with respect to college affordability, student outcomes and the true value of a college, specifically, liberal arts, degree. Administrators need to re-shape the argument about college being excessively expensive and “making an increasingly broad sector of the public suspicious of our relevance, quality and integrity.”
Maxwell then calls for his colleagues to “find ways to collectively guide the national discourse back to a position of truth — of fact-based information that is relevant to the needs and aspirations of prospective students and their families — and then ensure that our institutions communicate our individual values, strengths and demonstrable outcomes in the context of an accurate and nuanced narrative.”
YES! FINALLY! Someone wants to bring fact-based information to the table to help the families and students find the best, most effective schools that enable the best outcomes. I can’t believe a school administrator has said something like this. In print, no less. For people to see! No hiding from it now, Mr. Maxwell.