ERIC Number: EJ930724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-3
Reference Count: N/A
Coming into Focus: A New Vision for Public Higher Education in Massachusetts
Freeland, Richard M.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Nov 2010
This past September as thousands of college students moved into their dorms, the "Boston Globe" ran a front-page story about UMass Amherst. The theme of that story was familiar to anyone who has worked in public higher education in Massachusetts: The university community has high aspirations, but those hopes and plans have been consistently thwarted by public apathy and governmental neglect. Quoting a former Bay State governor, the "Globe" evoked a deeply rooted doubt in the body politic as to whether Massachusetts needs excellence in public higher education. A second "Globe" story written by veteran higher education reporter Jon Marcus echoed some of these same themes in a piece that ran Oct. 31. It too focused attention on the "second-class treatment" Massachusetts' 29 public universities and colleges have been getting from the state. Some in public higher education community were understandably outraged that the "Globe", in both instances, neglected their many outstanding achievements. But frustration should not blind anyone to the painful truths these stories contain about public perception. Many in Massachusetts do doubt the importance as well as the quality of public higher education in the state. Many do believe that Massachusetts has done well enough for many years based on the excellence of its private institutions and that those institutions will enable one to flourish in the future. The author's goal as commissioner is to make sure that as demand for access increases, demand for quality increases along with it. In pursuit of this goal, the author has invested much of his time in an initiative called the "Vision Project," a call for aspiration, accountability and unity in public higher education. The message of the Vision Project to the faculty and staff of public colleges and universities is that they need to be the change they want to see. In this article, the author focuses on a new vision for public higher education in Massachusetts.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Universities, Public Colleges, College Students, Outcomes of Education, Academic Achievement, Accountability
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts