Andy Rosen, Kaplan’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, published an interesting opinion piece in the Huffington Post. The Lazy River referenced in “A Lazy River Ride to a Higher Ed Crisis” is a 645 foot “leisure pool” built for students at a well-known university. For Rosen it is emblematic of misplaced priorities in higher education as universities compete for students. Rosen believes in competition, but it should focus on the most important thing in education: “enabling learning.” He writes:
Today’s universities essentially do not compete with one another on what should be their core goal: enabling learning. Instead, they compete over measures like the number of students to whom they deny admission, the number of books in their libraries, and the on-campus lifestyle they are able to provide. It’s shocking how much of the focus (and spending) of today’s university is devoted to amenities that have nothing to do with education.
The issues that face the “ecosystem” of higher education (from public universities, to elite private universities, to for-profit colleges and universities, to community college systems, to student-centered progressive liberal arts colleges) are myriad and not simple. I am glad that Andy’s voice is part of this national discussion.