Facing a broken business model, where can higher education go from here?
By Victor Brown Although I majored in chemistry as an undergraduate, I was a decidedly laboratory-challenged student. For everybody’s future safety, I spent my career in the chemical industry in commercial and management functions, leaving the R&D to those who were much better suited to it. However, I do recall a few fundamental chemical principles. […]
How Colleges Can Better Serve Their Students
By Vic Brown During the time I spent teaching at a liberal arts college, the school president liked to say that every decision the college made had to be one that would support student achievement. It was a noble sentiment, but perhaps college administrators and trustees need to now ask themselves a very different question: […]
Do Colleges Gather Diverse Students Together, and Then Drive Them Apart?
By Vic Brown Over the coming two weeks, first year students will be eagerly moving into dormitories across the country. Many of them have been recruited as part of their college’s efforts to attract a diverse student body, which they say will enhance the educational experience of all of their students. However, the admissions mechanisms […]
Laptops in a College Class? The Horror!
Children start using computers in grade school. They use them to search digital libraries, write research reports, and for all manner of everyday consumer uses. Why in the world would anybody consider banning their use in a college classroom?
Reform Requires College Presidents Strong Enough to Implement the Right Policies
I suggested that we abolish tenure, pay a salary premium of 25% over competing colleges, and thereby attract highly competent faculty who didn’t need tenure. My colleagues looked at me like I had just stepped out of an alien spaceship.
Trustees, Take Note: Time to Really Do Your Job
Trustees should take a more active role in reviewing and benchmarking the work of faculty and administrators and monitoring outcomes. Too many have seen their role narrowly defined as boosters, cheerleaders, and donors.
Time for Students and Faculty to Get Down to Business
Even I have grown weary of the commentaries decrying the recent nuttiness on college campuses. I’ve certainly written my share of commentaries on all of this, but more recently have been focusing my thoughts on what we need to do to turn this situation around.
Blocking and Tackling in Higher Education
Nationally, fewer than 60% of entering students obtain a degree within six years, and the percentage that graduate within four years is below 50%. The problem is most pronounced in the early stages of a college career, where only about 75% of students return for their second year.
It’s Never Easy, but Colleges Must Dig Deep to Survive
Some years ago, while I was teaching business courses at a small liberal arts college after a thirty year career in a corporate environment, the interim president of the college asked me how I thought the college could attract more students to its Business and Economics major.
Welcome students, members of the Class of…of…well, we really aren’t sure
If college presidents were really honest about things, this is the letter they would send out