Today is Earth Day and as the urgency of the climate change problem looms heavily over the entire world, it is a day that should not go without notice. This year’s Earth Day represents the beginning of a two-year initiative called the Green Generation Campaign. The campaign was established in the same spirit as the “Greatest Generation” that met the challenges facing the world in the years during and following the conclusion of World War II; individuals working together to create meaningful change in the fight to slow and halt climate change.
I have had a few weeks to think about President Obama’s Stimulus Act and its impact on higher education. During the same period of time, I have read the daily headlines covering higher education in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and New Realities in Higher Education. The news is not good.
There are very good reasons why more than 620,000 students are currently enrolled with regionally accredited online higher education institutions: their high-quality bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are affordable, convenient, and lead to both personal and professional enrichment. Some of the best universities leverage the power of the internet to help advance students’ knowledge, critical thinking skills and exposure to diverse ideas and people required for success in today’s complex, digitally-connected world.
Last night, President Obama delivered an address to the nation. He focused on the state of the economy and his administration’s plans for the economic future of our country focusing on energy, healthcare, and education. I thought I would examine his plans for education as it relates to higher education and compare them to the public policy initiatives and thought pieces that have previously been published.
While reading a few papers about learning communities, I came across a reference to a publication by James Zull, entitled The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning. Zull, a professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is also the Director Emeritus of its University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE).
In 1796, the last full year of George Washington’s presidency, the citizens of the United States honored their first president by celebrating his birthday, February 22nd. From the celebration in 1796 sprung a tradition of honoring President Washington by celebrating his birthday. By the early 1800s, wealthy Americans were celebrating Washington’s birthday with lavish parties and receptions; the average American commemorated the holiday by gathering with friends for picnics or a couple of drinks at the local bar.
With the number of articles about the financial difficulties in higher education increasing in frequency, it was bound to happen that someone would create a blog to track some of those articles. Ray Schroeder, Director of COLRS/OTEL and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois has done that.
New Realities in Higher Education is the name of his blog (and you can find it at http://www.recessionreality.blogspot.com/).
Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) recently issued their report entitled Squeeze Play 2009: The Public’s Views on College Costs Today. Given the state of the economy, Public Agenda and the NCPPHE decided to conduct a survey in December 2008 that they had conducted two years previously for their Squeeze Play 2007 report.
Every now and then, I run across a good book that has been out for a while and which escaped my attention. Such was the case with David Maraniss‘ They Marched into Sunlight which was published in 2003.
Maraniss, an editor at the Washington Post, crafted an excellent non-fiction book which is actually two stories with the crescendo event of both occurring in the October 17-18, 1967 two-day period.
As part of my ongoing review of some of the literature and topics around the affordability of a college education, I happened to find a publication from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education entitled The Iron Triangle: College Presidents Talk about Costs, Access, and Quality. Prepared by John Immerwahr, Jean Johnson, and Paul Gasbarra, the report is about a unique piece of research in which 30 college and university presidents were interviewed for their perspectives on the three major issues of cost, access, and quality of higher education (and, the corners forming the Iron Triangle).