Leaders Advocate for Transformative Change in Higher Education

Higher Education
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These challenges were prominently discussed during a forum hosted by the National Association of Scholars and The Buckeye Institute in Ohio and beyond.

Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland) and Richard Vedder, an esteemed professor of economics emeritus at Ohio University, emphasized obstacles related to college affordability, student debt, graduation rates, and subpar learning outcomes.

Cirino stressed the urgency for Ohio to promptly address its higher education challenges, cautioning that the state cannot afford to wait for gradual changes. He proposed potential solutions, suggesting that universities and colleges voluntarily discontinue diversity, equity, and inclusion offices through board decisions, considering them an inefficient allocation of funds. Additionally, he advocated for a reassessment of shared governance, highlighting that the current decision-making process requires consensus from all stakeholders before the president or board can take action, hindering responsiveness to the evolving education marketplace.

According to Vedder, potential solutions encompass exploring school mergers, considering the provision of vouchers to college students, appointing professors with diverse perspectives to enhance intellectual diversity, and enhancing overall accountability. He emphasizes the need for increased accountability measures, urging involvement from boards of trustees, the legislature, the general public, and significant private donors in the case of private schools to foster greater accountability within universities.

Though numerous challenges exist, there is optimism that addressing these issues will position Ohio favorably in higher education. Senator Cirino expresses a desire that any implemented changes will instill much-needed confidence in Ohio’s institutions, making higher education a worthwhile investment for families.

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