New era for Ohio colleges urged

New era for Ohio colleges urged

There are 26 comments on the Akron Beacon Journal story from Mar 31, 2008, titled New era for Ohio colleges urged. In it, Akron Beacon Journal reports that:

The head of higher education in Ohio on Monday sought to breathe new life into the late Gov.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Akron Beacon Journal.

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Another Wasted Study

Strongsville, OH

#1 Mar 31, 2008
Why do we need fingerHUT to tell universities to be on quarters or semesters? Most universities already have strong programs that define a Center of Excellence. Why do we need Finger Hut to tell them that? Why can't CSU students apply to NEOUCOMP
already or apply to CWU ? Why do we need fingerHUT to come up with a special program? If Universities have Centers of Excellence, why must Community Colleges all have the same Programs? FINGERHUT, MAYBE more than 50 percent of students from large School districts in Ohio should first graduate before worrying about shuffling the college deck?
Eddie

Jeannette, PA

#3 Apr 1, 2008
And Youngstown could have a course in "getting your @$$ out of Ohio as soon as you graduate"...
TAXPAYER

AOL

#4 Apr 1, 2008
What we need in Ohio is a cost break for our own citizens, sending their young people to Ohio Colledges. So many states give the "Residents" of that state a break on tuition. But not Ohio!! Why is that?
reality check

Cleveland, OH

#5 Apr 1, 2008
What will Mr. Fingerhut do to change the 4 year state university mindset among professors and instructors from attempting to "run off" as many freshman as they possibly can during the first and second terms? Also, the state universities need to stress being TEACHING institutions at least as much as they brag about being research institutions. Otherwise, send your child to community college for the first two years where TEACHING is emphasized, instead of being thrown to the cold mercies of grad assistants and/or foreign instructors who may know their material quite well but cannot speak English adequately, and cannot teach their way out of a paper bag. Small classes, followup discussion groups, and tutors, are all going to be needed in very large quantity, especially for the math and science courses, if Mr. Fingergut and the Gov. are really serious about positive change at the college level in Ohio.
Emma

Cleveland, OH

#6 Apr 1, 2008
It is so sad to see college graduates leaving Ohio because they are unable to find career jobs. Ohio has enough universities. Ohio needs more jobs.
Another Reader

Loudonville, OH

#7 Apr 1, 2008
TAXPAYER wrote:
What we need in Ohio is a cost break for our own citizens, sending their young people to Ohio Colledges. So many states give the "Residents" of that state a break on tuition. But not Ohio!! Why is that?
I'm not saying that tuition is cheap, that is a different discussion - but every state university in Ohio subsidizes resident tuition. For example, here is the page for Ohio State, note the difference in costs between "Ohio residents" and "Nonresidents":

http://undergrad.osu.edu/costs.html
Dan

Urbana, IL

#8 Apr 1, 2008
To this report, I say Amen!

Training the people to do the work the modern economy demands is the most effective tool in our economic development toolbox. Empower the individual to take care of him/herself. I think people of all political stripes can agree on this.

It is more than a coincidence that Ohio's economy is floundering and our residents are so poorly educated compared with the rest of the country (and more and more of the world). It's great to see that some of our leaders recognize this, and I think most of their recommendations are common sense.

Over 100 years ago, the people of our country decided to create a system of publicly funded education. Sure, it was expensive for them, but without it, the "American Dream" surely would never have existed. We'd have a nation of people only qualified to do the lowest of lowly jobs, with a few in the rich and ruling elite, must like a 3rd world country.

But Ohio (and the US) seems to be looking more and more like a 3rd world nation all the time. The rest of world is gaining, and passing, us in terms of education and worker training.

Yes, bringing our education system into the 21st century will be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as maintaining the status quo. This should be the top priority. It's not a question if we can afford to do this. The fact is, we cannot afford not to.
Dan

Urbana, IL

#9 Apr 1, 2008
Reality Check--I agree with many of your comments. I work at a university outside Ohio and see many of the issues you raise. These issues exist nationwide, I assure you. The fact is, some professors and schools make research a first priority, others make teaching a first priority. In truth, both are extremely important. If Ohio found a way to put those with a research mentality at "research institutions" with only graduate students, while putting educationally minded profs at "educational institutions" intended for undergrads, Ohio would be well ahead of the game. These institutions could exist at the same university--let's just make sure we use our people and resources where they're most effective.

Emma--You raise an interesting question. Certain industries don't have a large presence in Ohio. That means the graduates we produce in those industries sometimes have to move to find a job. However, Ohio is home to some great industries who sorely need qualified workers, and graduates in those fields have an easy time finding a job (e.g., biomedical engineering, polymer science, etc.).

I think it's very important to make our investment in education TARGETED. If we throw money blindly at the problem, we could end up training our kids in fields that aren't a good fit for the economy of our state, and therefore aren't a good fit for our kids. BUT, if we encourage kids to learn the skills that are already in demand by our state's businesses, it will work like magic for the job-seekers and the state economy.

Also, I believe once the business world sees Ohio as a location brimming with highly trained and educated techinical workers, rather than a backwards wasteland, industries will move in that don't presently exist in our state.

Since: Mar 07

Danville, CA

#12 Apr 1, 2008
Dan: Fair enough, but it will take decades to actually accomplish that goal providing the morons from organized labor don't get in the way.

I miss home but there's no way my wife and I will ever live there again. Ohio has nothing to offer us.
Robin Anderson

AOL

#13 Apr 1, 2008
Another Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not saying that tuition is cheap, that is a different discussion - but every state university in Ohio subsidizes resident tuition. For example, here is the page for Ohio State, note the difference in costs between "Ohio residents" and "Nonresidents":
http://undergrad.osu.edu/costs.html
Ah...but it has also been reported in the Kent Stater that Kent State University currently subsidizes the "out-of-state" costs a non-resident student must pay to the tune of $3,500.00 per year(?) for more than 400 such students. Why? They claim it's "good pr", getting out-of-state students to study here!

When Time Magazine (2006) reports that Ohio public universities/colleges/tech schools have the second highest average tuition rate in the nation, just what business do they have subsidizing students who could often go to school in their home state for less tuition to start with???

Um...did I happen to mention the "currently uncommitted fund of monies" under control of Doc Creamer at KSU? In the Kent Stater he confirmed that said fund was historically used only to make up for shortfalls on the rate of returns realized by the University's endowment funds.

Hmmm...which is the higher priority...Doc Creamer et al covering their butts for certain investment losses or helping to immediately reduce the cost of a college education?
Akdave

Export, PA

#14 Apr 1, 2008
I read the report. Its honest and mature although there's nothing ground-breaking in it. This should've come out 10-20 years ago. This is leadership ladies and gentlemen.. Its pretty much been the Universities of Ohio answerable to no one. Now the board of regents is finally asking that they change so that they are more accommodating to students who may worry about credits clearing or being able to move to another school. That alone will increase students. Overall its a good common sense plan.
petals4zuzu

Mansfield, OH

#15 Apr 1, 2008
This is the right way to combat the rising cost of higher education: increase the supply. I wholly support this plan.
petals4zuzu

Mansfield, OH

#16 Apr 1, 2008
RC, I think what you call "running off" is actually considered "weeding out" and that is a good thing. You want a degree from a university to mean something and you want to challenge kids in their first year(s) in college so those who aren't serious or mature enough to compete are weeded out, leaving the serious, focused, and deserving students to make into their Junior and Senior years.
petals4zuzu

Mansfield, OH

#17 Apr 1, 2008
RC, I think what you call "running off" is actually considered "weeding out" and that is a good thing. You want a degree from a university to mean something and you want to challenge kids in their first year(s) in college so those who aren't serious or mature enough to compete are weeded out, leaving the serious, focused, and deserving students to make into their Junior and Senior years.
reality check wrote:
What will Mr. Fingerhut do to change the 4 year state university mindset among professors and instructors from attempting to "run off" as many freshman as they possibly can during the first and second terms? Also, the state universities need to stress being TEACHING institutions at least as much as they brag about being research institutions. Otherwise, send your child to community college for the first two years where TEACHING is emphasized, instead of being thrown to the cold mercies of grad assistants and/or foreign instructors who may know their material quite well but cannot speak English adequately, and cannot teach their way out of a paper bag. Small classes, followup discussion groups, and tutors, are all going to be needed in very large quantity, especially for the math and science courses, if Mr. Fingergut and the Gov. are really serious about positive change at the college level in Ohio.
politics as usual

Warren, OH

#18 Apr 1, 2008
Before you try this monumental task, why don't you address the fact that less than 50% of the students in Cleveland City Schools graduate high school? Isn't a high school diploma a prerequisite to college entry? Tax and spend for post secondary education doesn't make sense with such a high drop out or failure rate at the secondary level.This should be addressed.Sadly,but once again, common sense is dead and buried with Ohio politicians.If you can't get through high school,college is a moot issue.
More educational fluff

Strongsville, OH

#19 Apr 1, 2008
Dude, what planet do you live on? The State Universities have been educating students just, fine, but many graduates leave that state. I am tired of my Federal Taxes subsidizing Arkansas and New York. That tax money needs to stay in Ohio. Graduates need to stay in Ohio.
Dan wrote:
To this report, I say Amen!
Training the people to do the work the modern economy demands is the most effective tool in our economic development toolbox. Empower the individual to take care of him/herself. I think people of all political stripes can agree on this.
It is more than a coincidence that Ohio's economy is floundering and our residents are so poorly educated compared with the rest of the country (and more and more of the world). It's great to see that some of our leaders recognize this, and I think most of their recommendations are common sense.
Over 100 years ago, the people of our country decided to create a system of publicly funded education. Sure, it was expensive for them, but without it, the "American Dream" surely would never have existed. We'd have a nation of people only qualified to do the lowest of lowly jobs, with a few in the rich and ruling elite, must like a 3rd world country.
But Ohio (and the US) seems to be looking more and more like a 3rd world nation all the time. The rest of world is gaining, and passing, us in terms of education and worker training.
Yes, bringing our education system into the 21st century will be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as maintaining the status quo. This should be the top priority. It's not a question if we can afford to do this. The fact is, we cannot afford not to.
UA Students Mom

Akron, OH

#20 Apr 1, 2008
reality check wrote:
What will Mr. Fingerhut do to change the 4 year state university mindset among professors and instructors from attempting to "run off" as many freshman as they possibly can during the first and second terms? Also, the state universities need to stress being TEACHING institutions at least as much as they brag about being research institutions. Otherwise, send your child to community college for the first two years where TEACHING is emphasized, instead of being thrown to the cold mercies of grad assistants and/or foreign instructors who may know their material quite well but cannot speak English adequately, and cannot teach their way out of a paper bag. Small classes, followup discussion groups, and tutors, are all going to be needed in very large quantity, especially for the math and science courses, if Mr. Fingergut and the Gov. are really serious about positive change at the college level in Ohio.
I am in agreement with the above post. Although my daughter did exceptionally well in high school, she had a miserable freshman year at Akron U. I agree, freshman students need guidance and support, and should not be thrown to the wolves. All instructors, regardless of degree or teaching level should be required to speak CLEAR English, or sorry, no job. I'm not paying thousands in tuition for my kid to sit in a class only to come home and tell me she could only understand every third word, and then wonder why she's not doing well in the class. In addition, students who both work and attend school, may need other resources to assist them in learning how to juggle the new mix of responsibilities. Students also need far better accessibility to career advisors who understand all the programs at their university and can guide the students toward a degree/career that fits their individual personality/goals and one where there are available jobs. My daughter has been through her 3rd advisor (doesn't say much for staff continuity since she's only been at Akron U for 4 semesters now, does it?). Regardless of the advisor, none have easily accessible and require making an appointment weeks to MONTHS in advance (if you can ever get through the nasty secretary that answers the phone). Yup, we're doing a great job here in Ohio, aren't we???

Since: Mar 07

Danville, CA

#21 Apr 1, 2008
UA Students Mom wrote:
<quoted text>
I am in agreement with the above post. Although my daughter did exceptionally well in high school, she had a miserable freshman year at Akron U. I agree, freshman students need guidance and support, and should not be thrown to the wolves. All instructors, regardless of degree or teaching level should be required to speak CLEAR English, or sorry, no job. I'm not paying thousands in tuition for my kid to sit in a class only to come home and tell me she could only understand every third word, and then wonder why she's not doing well in the class. In addition, students who both work and attend school, may need other resources to assist them in learning how to juggle the new mix of responsibilities. Students also need far better accessibility to career advisors who understand all the programs at their university and can guide the students toward a degree/career that fits their individual personality/goals and one where there are available jobs. My daughter has been through her 3rd advisor (doesn't say much for staff continuity since she's only been at Akron U for 4 semesters now, does it?). Regardless of the advisor, none have easily accessible and require making an appointment weeks to MONTHS in advance (if you can ever get through the nasty secretary that answers the phone). Yup, we're doing a great job here in Ohio, aren't we???
If she did so well in high school, you should never have sent her there to begin with...but someone didn't want you to know that.

Have her transfer to a private school out of state. Borrow the money if you have to. It'll be worth it.
Another Reader

Loudonville, OH

#22 Apr 1, 2008
Robin Anderson wrote:
<quoted text>
Ah...but it has also been reported in the Kent Stater that Kent State University currently subsidizes the "out-of-state" costs a non-resident student must pay to the tune of $3,500.00 per year(?) for more than 400 such students. Why? They claim it's "good pr", getting out-of-state students to study here!
When Time Magazine (2006) reports that Ohio public universities/colleges/tech schools have the second highest average tuition rate in the nation, just what business do they have subsidizing students who could often go to school in their home state for less tuition to start with???
Um...did I happen to mention the "currently uncommitted fund of monies" under control of Doc Creamer at KSU? In the Kent Stater he confirmed that said fund was historically used only to make up for shortfalls on the rate of returns realized by the University's endowment funds.
Hmmm...which is the higher priority...Doc Creamer et al covering their butts for certain investment losses or helping to immediately reduce the cost of a college education?
True, but the out-of-state student still pays thousands more per year, even with the additional aid. I seriously doubt that Kent State is actually losing money on these students. If they all left tomorrow, Kent would stand to lose millions of dollars in tuition.

BTW, this (a -partial- waiver of nonresident surcharges) isn't unique to Kent. Ohio State offers a partial waiver in many cases. Just google "nonresident tuition waiver" and you'll see countless entries from universities all over the country.
Lenny Pepperidge

Chicago, IL

#23 Apr 2, 2008
The report seemed to be well thought out, but it's only a beginning. The devil doesn't lie in the details but rather in the implementation. For the most part, it represents a clean break with the higher education philosophy of Jim Rhodes and should have been done the year after he left office. These are the things that I think are important.

DIFFERENTIATION: If the University System is going to both drastically increase the numbers of students and increase the quality (i.e. attract large numbers of research dollars, top level faculty and the best and brightest out of state students) then different universities need to assume different roles. For too long, Ohio has had a university system where everyone thinks he's a Chief and nobody wants to be an Indian. Not every university in a system can be the flagship campus, which brings me to...

FORMAL RECOGNITION OF OHIO STATE'S FLAGSHIP ROLE: Let's be honest. It's what Ohio State was founded to be. It was written into Ohio law in 1906, and it's the role that everyone who isn't blinded by loyalty to one of The Other State Universities recognizes. The lingering perception that it is no different from the rest of the universities is neither historical fact nor modern day reality but just the bad hangover from Jim Rhodes attempt to dumb the place down. I did find it amusing that in outlining the structure, they chose the word "National Research University." Perhaps, they were worried that if they actually called it the "flagship" Luis Proenza's head would explode like that guy in Scanners. Which brings me to...

ELIMINATION OF UNNECESSARY GRADUATE PROGRAMS: This has been a sore point since the 1960s. Every state university has felt free to add on scores of redundant, lowly ranked Ph.D programs in some delusional chase to become at respect. I could go down the list from Astronomy to Zoology and list programs in which Ohio offers as many or more doctoral programs than does California (3 times the number of 4 year universities/4 times the population) with only Ohio State's having any national stature or ranking.

The weakest of these programs need to be eliminated with the savings used to both properly fund the remaining relevant programs and help lower undergraduate tuition.

All in all, it's a good document. It formally undoes the worst mistakes of the sixties and seventies while presenting a realistic road map forward.

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