There are lessons we here at Boise State can learn from this article. I read columns like this one and realize halfway through it that I have been assuming it’s meant for someone else. Then I see a reference to something that reminds me of a concern I have about our own programs. What caused me to pause in this column is mention of the colleges and universities that have expanded research and graduate programs in an effort to join the exclusive club of research universities.
Although I think there is a research role for Boise State in the Northwest, I agree with the author that we cannot afford graduate programs that are not fully enrolled and academically robust in every way. Just last year, we had this conversation and dedicated ourselves to assuring that our graduate programs are indeed producing the students to justify the investment.
Click to read article: “Fixing College” by Jeff Selingo
Daphne Koller: What We’re Learning from Online Education
I mentioned this video in today’s State of the University address. I encourage you to take time to watch this video presentation featuring Daphne Koller. a professor at Stanford University and one of the founders of Coursera, an online education platform.
Click here to access video: “What We’re Learning from Online Education“
A Classic Case of Public Higher Education up against the Changing Educational Marketplace
Here’s the latest example of a public university’s governing board struggling with how to offer educational programming that meets the needs of students in our 21st century cyber world. Historically, the faculty have control of the curriculum, but it is becoming increasingly clear that new mechanisms of shared governance must be invented to assure that decisions are made in a timely fashion that respond to changing student demands and needs. Apparently, the University of Virginia President spent too much time justifying the status quo decision-making apparatus of the University and the Board sought new leadership with an urgency about how the University responds to its environment. Makes sense to me.
Click to read article: Public Universities See Familiar Fight at Virginia
The Private Sector Makes a Significant Move Into Doctoral Education
John E. Roueche
What makes this move so newsworthy is the fact that the reputable University of Texas at Austin is the victim of this “desertion.” Here we have a veteran faculty member in the UT College of Education going over to the “dark side” with the usual and predictable mention of the inability of UT to respond to moves like this given the cutbacks in higher education budgets in Texas. Could it be that the “dark side” is the “enlightened side”, unencumbered by traditions of faculty and department control of curriculum that has been known to slow things up when universities are responding to rapid changes in the marketplace and community of ideas? Can we always assume that all of the obstacles preventing a fine university like the University of Texas from competing with the private sector is about a declining state appropriation.
I doubt it.
Click to read article: To Train Community-College Leaders, a For-Profit University Hires a Leader in the Field
Another Report About The Lack Of College Rigor
The evidence is piling up and it’s not in students’ favor. Here’s another report about students spending less time studying. It’s difficult verifying the research methods at work on the studies cited recently to support this falloff in student studying, but given how often we are hearing about it, it is probably time for Boise State to take its own look at the quality and quantity of student preparation for classes.
Click to read article: College Students Spending Less Time Studying
Thomas Friedman–The Revolution Is Underway
Thomas L. Friedman
For those of us who read the daily bible of higher education-that would be the Chronicle of Higher Education–reports of reform and change in higher education are nothing new. We have entered a new era of dramatic change and across the industry there is talk of throwing out the old business model and creating a new one.
What surprises me are the almost daily reports from the mainstream press about the revolution underway in higher education. The article linked below is not the first one Thomas Friedman has written in recent months on this subject and I’m sure there will be more. This is the guy who taught us how ” the world is flat” and his most influential columns on higher education reform will also have an impact on the conventional wisdom. (more…)
Would You Believe Our Plight In Higher Education If An Honors College Dean Told You So?
When I decided to enter the blogosphere with my own commentary on the state of higher education, I did so with the intent of sharing with my colleagues across the campus some of the writings on innovation and reform of higher education. Although a staunch advocate of higher education, I must admit that I have grown increasingly restive over the years of my presidency at Boise State with the inability, and in some cases unwillingness, of administration, faculty and staff across most of the higher education landscape to view our mission and role through the lens of the change and innovation required in these new and different times. (more…)
One Way To Control Costs In Higher Education
The New York Times reported this week that the “Battle of the Titans” in online learning is heating up as Harvard and MIT created a new partnership called edX, offering free online courses from both universities. MIT had already announced its online learning project and offered its first course, Circuits and Electronics, to 120,000 students. Not to be outdone, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan also announced a new partnership to offer open online courses. (more…)
Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
The Association of Governing Boards concluded its annual meeting in Washington D.C. today and I had an opportunity to attend and listen to one of the more interesting presentations on its agenda. Richard Arum, a professor of New York University, one of the co-authors of a new study entitled, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, presented his findings. In short, the results of his research show a serious decline in academic rigor. More than one-third of students showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after four years of college with 35% of students reporting studying five hours less per week and 50% said they didn’t have a single course that required 20 pages of writing in their previous semester.
This study cannot be ignored and should serve as a starting point for a discussion on academic rigor at Boise State. In the meantime, take a look at Arum’s book for a full account of the study.
Improving Productivity in Higher Education
For the ninth straight time since I’ve been President of Boise State, I appeared before the State Board of Education to request a tuition increase, this time 5.7% over last year’s tuition of $5,566 per semester, which the Board approved. In the years I’ve appeared with my colleagues for the annual tuition-setting exercise, I cannot recall one university or college passing up the opportunity to request an increase. It seems there is always a good reason for a tuition increase.
In good times when the State was funding higher education, we argued it wasn’t enough. In bad times, we argued that we had to make up for the decline in state funding. And in both good and bad times when enrollments were growing, we pointed to new students as the reason for our increase.
As far as Idaho is concerned, we could always argue, as we did yesterday, that Idaho’s public universities and college have one of the lowest tuition rates across the West and probably the nation. So we’re playing catch up here in Idaho. In fact, Boise State can claim the lowest tuition of Idaho’s universities after yesterday’s action. (more…)