Commencing College

Commencement speakers seem to offer variations on the same themes, at least at all the graduations I’ve attended, and then comes an interminable march of graduates across a stage where they shake hands with administrators and teachers. That is a perfect time to consider why they’re, and we’re, there anyway.

Almost everyone (96%) believes, according to a recent Gallup-Lumina poll, that a postsecondary education is important. At the same time, many believe that it is unaffordable for everyone who needs one (79%) and that it needs to change to meet students’ needs better (80%). Continue reading “Commencing College”

Where We Live

The time has come, according to my kids’ principal, to play the residency verification game again.

This year will be the third time playing this game, and I’m no more excited than I was the first two times.

He doesn’t just want me to tell him where I live. He also doesn’t want me to affirm what they have in their files. No, he wants me to prove it over and over and over and — I kid you not — over again. Continue reading “Where We Live”

Illiberal Ideas

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, by proposing a reduction in public university support and level community college funding, joins other politicians, including President Obama, who endorse a function for post-secondary education as technical training.

Community colleges certainly can provide useful technical training, and these opportunities should be available to, and accessed by, more people. At the same time, these institutions do not provide the same educational experiences that universities provide. Continue reading “Illiberal Ideas”

Rauner’s Roundabout

I attended a presentation about the impact of Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget upon Illinois public universities this week — I am, in addition being an Illinois resident, an Illinois public university professor — and I was alarmed by the anxiety throughout the auditorium, which university administrators indicated was appropriate, even before the final details have been determined. Continue reading “Rauner’s Roundabout”