Higher Education in the Age of Obama. Raphael J. Sonenshein , Executive Director Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs California State University, Los Angeles President’s Symposium on The New Normal in Higher Education, CSU Fullerton February 22, 2012.
Higher Education in the Age of Obama
Raphael J. Sonenshein, Executive Director
Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs
California State University, Los Angeles
President’s Symposium on The New Normal in Higher Education, CSU Fullerton
February 22, 2012
Americans Have Mixed Feelings About Universities and Especially about Professors
Never met a budget
Never ran anything
Pie in the sky
President Obama: When he’s good, he’s very good; when he’s not, he’s professorial.
Kuhn (Real Clear Politics): “Prof-in-chief has his drawbacks.“
Time: “Taking Professor Obama’s Class.”
CNN analysis of an Obama speech: "A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary. That's the type of phraseology that makes you [appear] aloof and out of touch."
Obama plan: text/political subtexts
Making college education affordable and expected (shift from austerity to middle class politics; and also not professorial)
Cut off for-profit schools and banks (not Bush)
More grants, loans, low interest rates (good stuff)
More consumer information (customer service)
So What Should We Do?
The talk is coming from Washington DC but the outcome depends on Sacramento
Presidents don’t always get what they want, but what they say can set up a debate that is winnable locally
The CSU has a chance as this becomes a value debate; an excellent college education at an affordable price. California’s greatest bargain. Unless we sacrifice our values for value (the sad story of the American Institutions requirement).
Has CSU engaged this debate yet, or have we been defensive or re-inventing ourselves out of existence?