Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Innovation in Higher Ed--Finally

I sat at dinner tonight next to Geoff Cox, the president of Alliant International University, a small private school in San Francisco. He had previously been at Stanford and was hired to rescue a struggling school. Last December he lowered his school's tuition by 26 percent, from $19,000 to $14,000 a year. Why? To boost enrollment and increase their chances of survival. How? Well, he eliminated athletics completely. And most intriguingly to me, he eliminated the first two years of his degree programs, reasoning that California's community college system can prepare people better and cheaper. They are building alliances with the community colleges, including hiring the community colleges' own instructors to teach some of their own classes on those colleges' campuses.
He told me that he believes elite liberal arts colleges are in a completely different business from the state schools and community colleges that serve the vast majority of the nations' students, and so they should stop dictating public policy. This is a man with some really interesting ideas about how to move forward in education.

This is probly going to be my last post for a while, so i'll leave you in Luke's and Nathan's capable hands. Take care!

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