The Questions: On
a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, please indicate how you rate the following options:
(9.0 average response)
Change required. Post-secondary education must change to become
more productive, because of an inevitable funding shortage.
(7.4 average response)
Quality sacrificed. To maintain the status quo, many
insiders/professionals in public post-secondary education appear
willing to tolerate a significant decrease in quality.
(8.8 average response)
Tenure questioned. The question of maintaining faculty
tenure should be on agendas for change.
(7.1 average response)
Change initiated externally.
Policy change in post-secondary education should be initiated outside
the institutions themselves.
(8.0 average response
Partnership required. A broad partnership involving the best
thinking from the public, business, labor, K-12 and the post-secondary
education sector (public, private non-profit, and private for-profit)
should propose fundamental change.
(6.6 average response)
Authority broadened. The Minnesota Office of Higher
Education should be given more authority to initiate proposals for new
policy direction, not only serve as an administrative/research body.
Bert LeMunyon (10) (5) (7.5) (2.5) (7.5) 7.5)
Ray Ayotte (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) 10)
D. (Bill) Hamm (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (0) 0)
Change required. Post-secondary, like primary, must chose
between participating in the [Coliseum] [and] concentrating [their]
monies on education. The collective sports addiction must be dealt
with, at least on the financial ledger.
Quality sacrificed. God forbid we ever have to think about
pulling monies out of athletics for any kind of real advanced
education. Sports addicts will again win over quality education
Tenure questioned. While I am not as opposed to tenure at the
[college] level, I am strongly in support of review of this practice
to make sure it is actually achieving some positive goals for the
Change initiated externally. More broad-based public
involvement should be practiced over the manipulative
"Stakeholder"-based input we are seeing now.
Partnership required. No, return control to locally elected
boards and [their] appointees. The last thing we rural folks need is
you citiots choosing our representation.
Authority broadened. Again, more elitism and less real public
involvement. You can't fix the problem by manipulating the input.
Bruce A. Lundeen (10) (5) (10) (10) (10) 5)
Change required. I do not recall the majority of fully tenured
professors making themselves available to students, nor am I
particularly convinced they were conducting significant research.
Tenure questioned. It would seem that tenure is abused. If my
impression is correct, the origins of tenure were based on the
protections necessary to conduct research that could disprove popular
Dave Broden (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) 10)
Change required. Change must evolve to address new content, do
it more effectively and do it faster, without loss of quality and
basic content. The change must occur within the available funds of the
student and the organization funding the systems
Quality sacrificed. Institution parochialism is a defense
mechanism that easily accepts reduced quality to protect the status
quo and thus protect individual interests, etc. The status quo
is not good enough; we need new thinking, and fundamental in this is
that insiders/professionals must participate and accept change.
Tenure questioned. The concept of tenure must be reviewed and
redefined for its purpose and intent.
Change initiated externally. Policy change must come from both
inside and outside to gather the scope of ideas that can be
effectively and openly accessed and then selected and implemented
without status-quo drivers.
Partnership required. Ideas must come for all users, those who
benefit, those who fund and those who use the services of the
educated. All stakeholders must be contributors to build a system that
meets the needs and objectives of all.
Authority broadened. Agencies that just collect and sort data
must be ended. We cannot afford just gatherers --we need ideas and
implementers in all agencies.
Anonymous (10) (5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) 7.5)
Ray Schmitz (10) (7.5) (2.5) (5) (7.5) 2.5)
Change required. It should be changing regardless of funding
availability; that may be causing issues today, but if it disappeared
efficiency should not be eliminated.
Quality sacrificed. That is hard to judge. In every system,
public and private, there is the 'I have got mine jack' mentality.
The dean with 2 years to go is not going to rock the boat.
Tenure questioned. Tenure assures good teaching and good
teachers. Would you like to see curriculum wave in the breeze like
Texas and some other states?
Change initiated externally. The question is what is outside:
the board of the institution is in or out, legislature is in or out?
Authority broadened. Not enough information.
Peter Hennessey (2.5) (10) (7.5) (0) (0) 0)
Change required. So sorry if I sound like Clinton, but it
depends on what the definition of "productive" or "inevitable" is.
Throw in "post-secondary" too. Four-year colleges (are there any
left? most go 5+) used to have a goal, to prepare you for a degree. Is
the graduation rate the same as "productivity'? Can't you get an
education without the degree? Yes you can. Community colleges push
continuing/adult/life-long education, with or without a degree as your
Quality sacrificed. We all know the horror tales. Here is mine.
In the Viet Nam era, grade inflation was practiced when the draft
board decided to be "selective" and called you if your grades were
below a B. By 1972, at least in the two-year colleges in CA, if you
showed up in class fairly regularly, you were guaranteed a C. If you
did the homework, you were guaranteed a B, and if you showed up for
the mid-term and final -- just showed up, not passed -- you were
guaranteed an A. It also helped, and now more than ever it still helps
a lot, if you agree with the instructor's [politically correct] party
Tenure questioned. Sure, you can put any topic up for
discussion, but what do you want to propose in order to start the
discussion? Tenure was found to be important for centuries, beginning
back in the bad old days when the king dispensed favors. So now we
have a [politically correct] establishment making sure no dissident
applicants get tenure. Supposedly the assurance of steady income frees
the mind and conscience of the faculty to engage freely in the pursuit
of knowledge. It is unclear where merit comes into this, or, lacking
competition or fear of insecurity, where the motivation to improve
comes from. Yeah, you can put this up for discussion.
Change initiated externally. Policy? Does everything
have to have a policy? Here is policy: (1.) decide what your goal is
-- instill knowledge for the sake of knowledge, prepare [for] a job,
award a prestigious degree to brag about, etc., (2.) decide how you
get there -- choice of faculty, facilities, text and materials, etc.,
(3.) decide how you measure success, how you monitor progress, etc.,
(4.) decide how you'll adjust to deviations, innovations and other
changes, and (5.) do it.
Partnership required. What? More committees? More "soviets"?
How about confining the participants to people who actually know what
they are doing? Who decided we need "fundamental change"? Are we
inventing a new-fangled concept of "post-secondary" education that the
world has never seen before, or are we in fact building on a few
thousand years of experience? Are humans today any different than they
were in 5000 BC? Plato managed to teach, Pythagoras managed to
calculate and Archimedes managed to invent, by scratching in the dirt
and on parchment. Technology did not limit their minds and
imaginations. Today we still learn by seeing, hearing, reading,
thinking, discussing, writing and doing. What changed? Technology? Are
Authority broadened. The higher up, the more remote, the
decision makers are from the problem, the worse decisions they will
make. Schools were much better when they answered only to the local
school board staffed by local parents. They went downhill when States
started to dictate terms, and went downhill even faster when we got
the federal Department of HEW and eventually the Department of
Education. Standards were higher, student performance was higher,
teaching quality was higher, teacher satisfaction was higher,
administrative staff was minuscule, other overhead costs were lower,
etc. etc. etc.
Bob White (10) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) 10)
Anonymous (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) 7.5)
Tenure questioned. The problem is that, then, general public
opinion may make administration more difficult in regard to certain
subject material and keeping "good" faculty in such positions. It may
require greater participation by others outside the administration to
avoid personality clashes or favoritism. Perhaps [this is] no worse
than the present systems.
John Cairns (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) 10)
Change initiated externally. But the effectiveness of this
process necessarily requires strong input/participation by the
institutional leaders/staff too.
Partnership required. “Propose” would not be my word… such a
group should analyze options and suggest priorities.
Ray Cox (10) (7) (10) (8) (8) 10)
education should become more productive, but this should not only be
driven by a funding shortage. Following that logic one would expect
significant declines in productivity if there were a budget surplus.
It should be more productive because it is taxpayer
supported...period. However, I agree that when there is a budget
problem it is easier to institute needed changes.
I'm not sure the
status quo is accepting a decline in quality. It may be that
America in general is accepting of a decline in quality, production,
I think one of the
things that should be examined is the increase in higher education
costs comparable with the use of the State Grant Program. It seems
like there may be a correlation when you introduce a third-party payer
into the equation ([for example, the] costs of higher education
increasing at a faster rate once the state grant program hit full
Robert J. Brown (10) (10) (10) (8) (10) 5)
Wayne Jennings (10) (10) (10) (8) (10) 10)
Kent Eklund (9) (6) (9) (6) (7) 5)
William Kuisle (10) (8) (10) (10) (10) 6)
Donald H. Anderson (7) (5) (8) (6) (10) 5)
Charles & Hertha Lutz (9) (5) (7) (6) (9) 8)