IBJOpinion

Small schools give bang for buck

April 10, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Economist Morton Marcus [on March 29] took issue with the notion that college and university graduation rates can be improved by tying compensation to increases (or decreases) in institutional graduation rates.

Improving graduation rates is a worthy goal, Marcus argues, but he predicts that educators will respond simply by lowering standards, watering down expectations, and producing more—but less well educated—graduates.

Moreover, Marcus theorizes that “employers want certificates or degrees because they recognize that those pieces of paper signify endurance. They want employees who have proven they can tolerate anything for an appropriate reward.”

Out in the real world, employers don’t hire pieces of paper. They seek and hire people who can think for themselves, communicate clearly and work in teams.

Much that’s written about higher education mistakenly assumes that “one size fits all”—theorizing that we can increase access and improve outcomes by enlarging institutions and delivering education technologically, rather than through face-to-face ongoing personal contact between teachers and students. Fact: Indiana’s independent colleges produce 35 percent of the state’s bachelor’s degrees by serving 24 percent of our state’s undergraduates on 5 percent of Indiana’s budget for higher education.

Indiana can become what Gov. Daniels calls “the best economic sandbox in America” by investing our hard-pressed dollars where recoveries always begin, in small businesses and in independent colleges.

Residential campuses like ours prepare men and women for significant careers through the liberal arts. They know that learning to do your own thinking, learning to communicate clearly, and learning to work with, for, and on behalf of other people is the path to a life of excellence, leadership and service. Fact: The four-year graduation rate at Indiana’s independent colleges is 60 percent, compared to 29 percent at state institutions.

Indiana can improve educational access and outcomes by employing the liberal arts to prepare graduates for productive and satisfying lives as leaders, professionals and citizens.

____________

James G. Moseley
President
Franklin College

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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