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ERIC Number: EJ1017282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
Northern Twilight: SUNY and the Decline of the Public Comprehensive College
Golden, Robert
Thought & Action, v29 p45-56 Fall 2013
In this article, Robert Golden envisions the current trends in practice at State University of New York (SUNY) in Plattsburgh, being so firmly entrenched as to still be the same practices in place 60 years into the future. He notes the decline of full-time faculty, the rise in the numbers of contingent faculty, the increasing use of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the growing importance of technology in support services, as well as the centralization of those services in some public systems such as SUNY. What may not be so obvious, he notes, is the decreasing power and autonomy of campus-based administrators. Comprehensive college presidents are seen as members of a distant managerial elite with primary responsibilities in public relations and fundraising, and in making sure the college is run efficiently, with little interest in academics. The author further reports that many state governments know their K-12 educational systems were designed for the 19th century and do not adequately prepare students to succeed as either workers or citizens in the 21st. Rather than making the decisions and long term investments to really improve the situation, such as more time in school for students, higher standards and better working conditions for teachers, a more integrated curriculum, and effective career education for those students who do not want to pursue higher education, the focus is on more high stakes tests for students and schools, and punitive evaluation systems for teachers. What is most needed to cope with such a reality are individuals capable of responding to complex and particular realities, in other words, professionals with enough autonomy that they can address these situations quickly and effectively. Colleges and universities, including public comprehensive colleges, need enough "social space" and autonomy to be able to operate effectively. After offering recommendations for consideration, the author suggest faculty in educational institutions need to be honored for the professional judgment they bring to their work, and the need to retain the freedom to use that judgment in the best interest of their students, their institutions, and their communities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A