Over the last few months there have been a string of reports highlighting the challenges in higher education. A report released yesterday by a bi-partisan commission at the National Conference of State Legislators called on state legislators to take a leadership role in addressing funding and accountability issues within higher education.
This report was one of the first to recognize the pressures that higher education institutions have faced with decreasing state support. “Higher ed can get short shrift in tough budget times because it has the built-in funding source of tuition.”
"We call state legislators to action," said Wisconsin Representative Rob Kreibich, co-chair of NCSL's Commission. "They have the power to demand that we do better, to demand that we think of higher education not as the balance wheel of budgets, but as an investment in our future."
Read a summary of the report here: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2006/pr061127.htm
This report offers an opportunity that higher education institutions should seize in the coming months as state legislatures begin their new legislative sessions. There is growing momentum that changes must occur within higher education to improve quality and accessibility.
It is critical that institutions get in front of these changes and recommendation by offering their own plans for change. This will allow institutions to control the debate and making sure that the cure isn’t worse than the disease.