Repositioning Higher Education for the Future
The purpose of this series is to propose some strategies which can be adopted to improve the performance and profile of colleges across America. I have identified some avenues which I believe if pursued will reap innumerable rewards and help struggling colleges and universities rise to prominence once again. While a brighter future for all institutions of higher education is possible, it will demand radical changes and difficult decisions. It is critical that the leadership adapt and respond to current trends in higher education. This can only happen by implementing strategic changes, and effectively and intelligently investing in their universities.
No American higher education institution can overlook the difficult financial climate, particularly those that are already under-resourced and who cater to low income and minority students. These institutions will be disproportionately impacted by future trends and must position and prepare themselves accordingly. It is for reasons such as these that discussions surrounding higher education and its future are of great importance.
The higher education arena has some notable challenges. As a result of dwindling funding and available resources, competition between educational institutions has increased. Diversity has become a major theme in higher education, and institutions are now competing to attract the best and brightest from every background. Minority students are now in a situation where they are not merely allowed to pursue higher education but are in fact being recruited through a range of programs and incentives. This fundamental shift in both the mentality and policy of higher education institutions has forever altered the reality of the higher education landscape.
Colleges of the future will be vastly different from those that exist today, as they will occupy an entirely different educational landscape. To prepare for this, institutions will need to overcome the many internal and external challenges that it is facing. In many ways, these are challenges which are universal to higher education institutions but are amplified by underfunding. While a massive task undoubtedly lies ahead, with change comes opportunity, and I honestly believe we can take advantage of this and continue to inspire a future generation of students.
As a foundation for this series, I plan to use my experience as a K-12 teacher, professor of education, department chair and dean of a school of education, to give you a holistic view of higher educations’ power and promise. You would be surprised what you can learn via an 18-year career. I hope you will join me as we discuss how we can reposition higher education for the future.