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The Future of Small Colleges

The Future of Small Colleges

May 12, 2016

To the Editor:  Re “Small Colleges Are Pressured Over Finances” (front page, April 30):

The resiliency of America’s small private colleges is frequently misunderstood. Many persevere year after year, meeting the higher education needs of the country and their region, while operating on the slimmest of financial margins.\

For more than a century, experts have been writing off the future of these colleges because of changes in demographics, advances in technology and a dearth of financial resources. Yet many manage to persevere through innovation, perspiration and dedication.In fact, of the 1,640 private, nonprofit institutions in the United States, only 33 have closed over the last 20 years.

At the same time, the private college sector is the only higher education sector to grow in each of the last 10 years.Smart administrators and faculty have remade colleges to better serve the educational needs of a changing market; have worked together to recruit students, contain costs and generate revenue; and have secured necessary financial support from alumni and philanthropists supportive of their mission and legacy.

A mastery of legacy, loyalty, mission and market is often the most powerful force in determining the future of a small private college. While these are challenging times for all of higher education, I caution against prematurely writing off any of these institutions.

DAVID L. WARREN
President
National Associationof Independent Colleges & UniversitiesWashington

To the Editor:  Re “Small Colleges Are Pressured Over Finances” (front page, April 30):

The resiliency of America’s small private colleges is frequently misunderstood. Many persevere year after year, meeting the higher education needs of the country and their region, while operating on the slimmest of financial margins.\

For more than a century, experts have been writing off the future of these colleges because of changes in demographics, advances in technology and a dearth of financial resources. Yet many manage to persevere through innovation, perspiration and dedication.In fact, of the 1,640 private, nonprofit institutions in the United States, only 33 have closed over the last 20 years.

At the same time, the private college sector is the only higher education sector to grow in each of the last 10 years.Smart administrators and faculty have remade colleges to better serve the educational needs of a changing market; have worked together to recruit students, contain costs and generate revenue; and have secured necessary financial support from alumni and philanthropists supportive of their mission and legacy.

A mastery of legacy, loyalty, mission and market is often the most powerful force in determining the future of a small private college. While these are challenging times for all of higher education, I caution against prematurely writing off any of these institutions.

DAVID L. WARREN
President
National Associationof Independent Colleges & UniversitiesWashington

May 12, 2016

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Private Colleges Appear to be Better Deal

Private Colleges Appear to be Better Deal

May 04, 2016

Reader Kevin Griffith of Columbus, OH, writes: Ohio does have a real problem with the affordability of its state-funded schools. The real scandal here is that a student who attends a state university in Ohio will incur about as much debt as one who attends a private liberal-arts college, all the while taking courses that can vary wildly in quality and rigor.  Value for the dollar should certainly be considered when making the choice of a college. Given the attacks on state higher education from budget-slashing legislatures combined with the systemic failures of university administrators to control costs and prioritize quality instruction, the value of a degree from a state university in Ohio will likely continue to erode.
Reader Kevin Griffith of Columbus, OH, writes: Ohio does have a real problem with the affordability of its state-funded schools. The real scandal here is that a student who attends a state university in Ohio will incur about as much debt as one who attends a private liberal-arts college, all the while taking courses that can vary wildly in quality and rigor.  Value for the dollar should certainly be considered when making the choice of a college. Given the attacks on state higher education from budget-slashing legislatures combined with the systemic failures of university administrators to control costs and prioritize quality instruction, the value of a degree from a state university in Ohio will likely continue to erode.

May 04, 2016

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Office Hours

Office Hours

September 29, 2014

SMU student Preston Hutcherson writes:  As a student at a private university I had a sneaking suspicion that the magic between the pages of our great books had nothing to do with the cost of tuition, but had much to do with the generous heart of the instructor -- no matter the setting. I think I was right.
SMU student Preston Hutcherson writes:  As a student at a private university I had a sneaking suspicion that the magic between the pages of our great books had nothing to do with the cost of tuition, but had much to do with the generous heart of the instructor -- no matter the setting. I think I was right.

September 29, 2014

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Liberal arts colleges must adapt to thrive

Liberal arts colleges must adapt to thrive

December 27, 2013

It seems the future direction of small, private liberal arts colleges is on the tips of everyone's tongues these days. Not a day goes by without someone announcing our demise. Of course, when Moody's downgraded the outlook for the entire education industry to negative in early 2013, even the most optimistic among us had to take a moment to pause.



It seems the future direction of small, private liberal arts colleges is on the tips of everyone's tongues these days. Not a day goes by without someone announcing our demise. Of course, when Moody's downgraded the outlook for the entire education industry to negative in early 2013, even the most optimistic among us had to take a moment to pause.



December 27, 2013

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Why be a king when you can be a college president?

Why be a king when you can be a college president?

December 24, 2013

Would you like to pay no expenses on your home, a car, life insurance, travel expenses, cleaning service, a separate spending account, maybe a personal plane or yacht, and also earn a six-figure salary? Nice gig, if you can get it. Who wants to be a king, when you can be a college president?



Would you like to pay no expenses on your home, a car, life insurance, travel expenses, cleaning service, a separate spending account, maybe a personal plane or yacht, and also earn a six-figure salary? Nice gig, if you can get it. Who wants to be a king, when you can be a college president?



December 24, 2013

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About the items posted on the NAICU site: News items, features, and opinion pieces posted on this site from sources outside NAICU do not necessarily reflect the position of the association or its members. Rather, this content reflects the diversity of issues and views that are shaping American higher education.

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