State Colleges, Universities Advised To Embrace Change

Career College Central summary:

  • With the theme of Higher Education Forging a State Agenda, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) kicked off its annual conference last Wednesday with an emphasis on adaptation and innovation. Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California, noted in the opening session of the Higher Education Government Relations Conference that school presidents, chancellors, administrators and policy makers need to move away from the old “business models of the 1960s and get with it.” He cited the success of MOOCs (massive online open courses) as a signal to institutions that “the way they are operating is obsolete.”
  • Newsom, who refers to himself as a “digital immigrant,” said he would like to see “teachers as mentors and coaches rather than transmitters of textbook information” and deal with the fact that 76 percent of incoming kindergarten children in California are non-White.” Session moderator Lisbet Sunshine, the director of Government and Community Relations at San Francisco State University, zeroed in on innovation advancements, changing financial models and shifting student-consumer demographics.
  • “Fifty percent of contributions to the California State University system are from private organizations,” said Sunshine. The trend of private firms contributing more to public institutions is on the rise and are loosely being referred to as “state-controlled private institutions that need to be monitored more closely,” said Newsom.
  • The idea of embracing technology and innovation and evolving demographics made for a candid discussion about high-quality student outcomes in the next session.

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