Magazine article University Business

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: New Year's Resolutions and Perspective from Higher Ed Thought Leaders

Magazine article University Business

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: New Year's Resolutions and Perspective from Higher Ed Thought Leaders

Article excerpt

We asked: What are your predictions, hopes and concerns for 2018? Administrators and experts who have recently contributed to UB answered. A link to each contributor's recent column appears under their name.

"College students are wired to think about their future. Higher education must start early to create meaningful career development experiences for students by linking career initiatives to existing required experiences (orientation, courses, internships) and enlisting faculty as mentors. We cannot leave meaningful experiences to chance."

-Susan Brennan, associate VP, University Career Services, Bentley University

"Parents, students, legislators and other stakeholders are looking for accountability and financial efficiency in higher education. We must invest in student instruction and reduce unnecessary expenditures that often result from over-regulation. Above all, public systems of higher ed must invest more in those institutions which successfully graduate students in four years. Far too often politics drive allocation decisions."

-Janet Dudley-Eshbach, president, Salisbury University

"Many schools are working to make their student-facing software mobile-friendly, if they haven't already done so. With the vast majority of college students now having a smartphone, there is tremendous opportunity for institutions to embrace and enable the 'anywhere, anytime' possibilities that this offers for their student population:'

-Kelly Walsh, CIO, College of Westchester

"Higher education has long allowed the media to drive the affordability conversation. There are serious issues related to access, but by sensationalizing them, student loans are generally viewed as financially unhealthy and the value of college has been called into question. College and university need to own the message."

-Jennifer Wick, VP for consulting services, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

"In a world where conflict is too often the norm, 2018 will cast a spotlight on the efficacy of diversity work in repositioning colleges and universities to return to the basic bedrock principles of American higher education. These include 1) relevant research, 2) education as a social good, 3) values steeped in love, authenticity, courage and empathy, and 4) students who are prepared to cross borders, build bridges and make the world a better place for all."

-Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, VP of equity and inclusion, University of Oregon

"Especially disruptive to business as usual in higher education is the free-tuition movement, which gained substantial momentum during the 2016 presidential election. A few states have since implemented some free-tuition plan. If restricted to public institution, free-tuition plans can push some private colleges to extinction, thereby devastating their local economies."

-Gary A. Olson, president, Daemen College

"In these gloomy 'anti-science, post-truth' times, I have found the perfect antidote: teaching college freshman. Although time-consuming and taxing, once your students start learning how to learn, discovering the joy of discovery, and embarking on the life-long quest to become critical thinkers and effective communicators, the future looks bright."

-James Muyskens, professor and former president, CUNY Queens College

"I'm concerned that the college's role to foster the unfettered exchange of divergent ideas is being eroded, largely from well-intentioned leaders trying to create an inclusive learning environment. …

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