#highereducation #college #tenure
You’ve heard many times that nothing is more constant than change.
Yet, higher education is either slow to recognize the need to change, or just refuses to.
Greg Charleston, a CPA, certified turnaround professional and senior managing director at Conway Mackenzie Inc., discussed this in a column in the Oct. 20, 2014, edition of The Atlanta Journal-
Charleston likens higher education’s story to that of Willy Loman, the lead character in Arthur Miller’s play, “Death of a Salesman,” a reading staple in college literature classes. Willy was slow to adapt to change, as is the current higher education model.
As Charleston points out, the availability of student loans made demand for higher education constant, despite changes in the economy. Also, parents never wavered from the belief that a good education was the key to their child’s future, and did whatever they had to do to make sure their kids went to college.
Now, as Charleston says, government funding is shrinking. Students don’t want to be saddled with debt, especially if they see that their older colleagues are graduating into a shrinking job market. What good is a great education if a student can’t parlay it into a good job, so that they can pay off that massive debt?
Also, Charleston says, more students are opting for non-traditional study – online courses – eschewing the traditional campus life many thought would be so much fun. Yet, many colleges are relying on their reputations to stay alive. One learns quickly that he cannot eat prestige for breakfast.
Charleston suggests alternatives to keep up with the times. He suggests some colleges and universities merge, or offer online alternatives. They need to find ways to scale back costs to keep it affordable to most students.
Perhaps, the really good teachers and professors will need to record their lectures and classes, to make them available universally in the academic world. Academic tenure, as is happening in the corporate and professional world, may soon be a thing of the past.
Parents also need to know their children. They need to ask, is college really right for my son or daughter? It’s OK to answer NO to that question. It won’t mean they will not have a future. In fact, there are many ways to ensure a great future for children without a college education. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find a great way to ensure a marvelous future without the debt and other headaches of getting a child through college.
Those students taking on college may also find a great Plan B, in case their careers after college get off to a slow start.
Higher education, like other facets of life, has to adapt to a changing world. It has to realize that dollars are limited, that there are other ways to get educated and that it may not be a universal path to a great future for young people.
It’s nice to have a great aura or reputation about you. But it’s better to keep one’s doors open.
It’s nice to have a faculty position that will never go away, as long as you want it. But if the whole institution disappears, that position can’t help but go away.
So, to all students, pursue your dreams as you see fit. Study what you must to get to those dreams. But keep in mind that there is more than one route to those dreams. Find the route that fits you best.

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