- The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, who says that economic segregation is a major problem in the higher education enterprise, and that listening to constituents and making a case for higher education as an accelerator for moral and financial human development is crucial.
- Pasquerella says liberal arts education is the key to stronger communication and adaptability to changes in technology, culture and industry.
- She also says the ability for citizens to be engaged and to advocate for democracy rests heavily upon cultures that seek diversity, and higher education, which also lacks diversity in race and political leanings, needs to change to pioneer this social effort beyond campus borders.
Pasquerella's messaging is clear and expertly outlines the case for higher education and the need for investment in its enterprise. But when incivility becomes a hallmark of legislative agendas impacting this enterprise, and the general citizenry becomes convinced that higher education is not worth the cost or the time required to obtain it, how can messaging change beyond the altruistic ideals of human flourishing and wealth building?
It is up to college presidents and trustees to more effectively make the case to working-class and low-income families about the benefits of education, and to partner with K-12 districts, like UCLA is doing in Los Angeles, to brand college value in areas where it is easily understood by a variety of residents and potential students and supporters.