Column: Daniels challenges key higher-ed issues



Mitch Daniels’ recent letter to the Purdue University community was the equivalent of a 12-page research paper on the state of higher education, so Boilermakers can be forgiven if they didn’t read every word of it.

The content merits attention from all Hoosiers, no matter their college loyalties.

To summarize: The cost of college has gone up, while the value of a degree has gone down. This is no longer acceptable to taxpayers or families. Higher education “is likely headed for big change,” and universities that fail to adjust their operating model won’t last.

Those that do will become accountable for their product, i.e. price, graduation rates and quality of their graduates. The latter, by the way, includes content knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Get ready, Purdue, for the kinds of headlines Daniels generated as Indiana governor. Daniels clearly believes Purdue will be one of the survivors, so it might as well “be a leader in taking accountability for the excellence to which it lays claim.”

His pronouncements are already drawing notice from higher-ed reform groups, including Minding the

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