Magazine article ASEE Prism

Edging the Competition

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Edging the Competition

Article excerpt

AUTONOMY HAS LONG been the byword for America's colleges and universities in setting policies. Though the federal government accounts for a third of spending on higher education, it pretty much stays out of things. Is that about to change with the U.S. Department of Education's formation of a 19-mcmber commission charged with delivering a "comprehensive national strategy on the future of higher education?"

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says no. It's not about intrusion, she says; it's about "how we can get the most out of our national investment." That still sounds like meddling to the Cato Institute, a right-leaning think tank. "If they're going to have a national strategy, who is going to implement it other than the federal government?" asks Neal P. McCluskey, a policy analyst at the institute's Center for Educational Freedom, as quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education. …

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