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A Move Towards Accountability

January 24, 2007

I applaud the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for taking a leadership role in discussing the accountability issue.  Today they announced the creation of a task force to identify “ways that public higher education can become more accountable to the public on learning outcomes and campus engagement while also providing additional information to students and families to aid them in the selection process.”

A perceived lack of accountability within higher education institutions has motivated the Department of Education to try to institute “No Child Left Behind” in the higher education arena.  The critique of higher education is often that it is not accountable to anyone.

I disagree with that statement because higher education institutions are accountable to the students, the community, and state lawmakers.  Rather, the problem is often that higher education does not do the greatest job of educating key stakeholders and the community about all the services that they provide. 

My hope is that this report not only looks at developing standards of accountability but also explores ways that higher education groups can help get the word out about all the great services that they provide to the community.

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