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To Boost the Economy, Help Students First

New York Times – Presidential Opinion
December 21, 2016

Sheila C. Bair, president, Washington College (MD), writes: Donald J. Trump has made bold and provocative campaign promises on taxes, trade, immigration and infrastructure. These pledges are all in service of bolstering our economic future. While we hope these initiatives will help our economic prospects, there is one important measure missing from the debate. And it could have an even more immediate and direct impact on economic growth: student debt relief. Student debt relief is smart economics and smart politics for the new administration.

Closing the Stubborn College Graduation Gap Between Rich and Poor

Hechinger Report – Presidential Opinion
December 20, 2016

Carol Quillen, president of Davidson College (NC); Josh Wyner, vice president and executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program; and Martin Kurzweil, director of the Educational Transformation Program at Ithaka S+R, write: Today, a college degree is more critical than ever. Those with a college degree not only earn more than those without, they are more likely to be employed. Unfortunately, America continues to struggle to provide postsecondary education to young people from lower-income backgrounds. Even the most academically qualified lower-income students are far less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their higher-income peers.

What 'Grit' Means for College Educators

Inside Higher Ed – Presidential Opinion
December 12, 2016

Daniel R. Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College (PA), writes:  One of the hot topics on campuses this year is “grit,” which University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth understands as a fusion of passion, aspiration, tenacity and resilience that launches people to success. Her important new book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, challenges educators and institutions to see and strengthen this mind-set in our students.

Here's How Universities Can Help Foster Civil Discourse in the Trump Era

Harrisburg, Penn., Patriot-News - Presidential Opinion
November 29, 2016

Thomas P. Foley, president of Mount Aloysius College (PA), writes: While not immune to the distemper infecting the larger society, higher education is uniquely positioned to combat it.

Advancing American education

Washington Times - Presidential Opinion
November 27, 2016

Mark A. Smith, president of Ohio Christian University, writes: In higher education we also must reduce federal regulations and mandates on colleges and accreditation agencies. College cost is increasing in direct proportion to all the required staffing to meet federal requirements. Colleges and universities are our best innovative learning labs; federal mandates only restrict those environments. Many new federal programs have required staffing increases with little or no impact on learning. Peer accreditation and market-driven solutions should determine what colleges remain open.

What Deans Expect of Department Heads

Huffington Post - Presidential Opinion
November 21, 2016

Gary A. Olson, president of Daemen College (NY), writes: A key to becoming an effective department head is the ability to balance those two very different roles. Ineffective chairs foster an us-versus-them climate within the department: “You’ll never guess what they are going to make us do now,” such chairs say, where “they” means all university administrators above the department level lumped into one. Adopting that stance may ingratiate you to department members in the short term, but it also demonstrates a lack of leadership.

For Women, Glass Ceilings, and Glass Walls Too

New York Times - Presidential Opinion
November 17, 2016

Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, writes: One week after the election, many students on my campus, one of the nation’s largest women’s colleges, remain heartbroken that Hillary Clinton was not able to shatter, in her words, “the highest, hardest glass ceiling.” Many people have attributed Mrs. Clinton’s loss to her actions in public life, or to an America that wanted “change” at any cost. But this loss is as much about sexism as anything else.

Media Rankings Don't Address Crucial Qualities of Universities

San Diego Union-Tribune – Presidential Opinion
November 14, 2016

Kim A. Wilcox, chancellor of University of California Riverside, writes: In the next several weeks, millions of high school seniors will apply to colleges and universities across the nation. If you are one of them — and if you come from a low-income family or are a minority student — I urge you not to look at higher education rankings systems that emphasize reputation, acceptance rates and alumni giving.  Instead, keep your eye on rankings that rely upon a different set of numbers: Namely, graduation and retention rates. That’s because the current trends in enrolling and graduating low-income and minority students threaten social justice in higher education.

Title IX in the Age of Trump

Inside Higher Ed - Presidential Opinion
November 7, 2016

Mariko Silver, President, Bennington College writes: Colleges and universities are grappling -- urgently, constantly and necessarily -- with the problem of campus sexual assault. While higher education administrators are focusing, rightly, on what happens on campuses, in our classrooms and dorms and disciplinary meetings, this year’s presidential campaign has made clear (if it was not already) that the problem of sexual harassment, sexual assault and their enabling antecedents are widespread throughout American society.

Diversifying education to diversify the economy

Huffington Post - Presidential Opinion
October 31, 2016

Dr. Scott D. Miller, President, Virginia Wesleyan College writes: Through strong internship and career-preparation programs, Virginia’s private colleges and universities offer abundant opportunities for professional orientation in business, medicine, and other fields, points out the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia.

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