Sunday, November 17

The Crisis in Higher Education

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Terri Givens

by Terri E. Givens

It’s back to school time, and I will be heading off soon to drop my own son at college. Over the last few years, there have been many articles and news stories about the fact that higher education is in crisis. Many pundits say that colleges won’t survive another five or ten years, others focus on the financial issues colleges face with declining enrollments and changing demographics. Some focus on technological change and the fact that many institutions are slow to adapt.

I have seen many of these issues up close and personal in my time in higher ed. I do believe that we are facing a crisis in higher education, but it is more of a crisis of leadership than anything else. Industries go through change on a regular basis, and the issues that higher education is facing today aren’t that much different than challenges that have arising in the past. What is needed is leadership that has access to the right information and support that will allow them to succeed.
Six month ago I founded the Center for Higher Education Leadership because I wanted to address these issues and needs. I am a big cheerleader for higher education, I want us all to succeed because we are educating the students I care so much about. I have dedicated my career to ensuring that students like myself—first-generation, minorities, and women—have access to education, but we have to think beyond access. We have to commit to providing our students the best possible education, using the latest evidence-based tools, and ensuring that our students are prepared for the future of work.
Over the past couple of years, I have been blessed to meet some of the top thinkers in the higher education space who are working hard to ensure that the future of higher education is bright. We may be in crisis, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. CHEL is a part of that important push towards success and we are glad that you are joining us on this journey.


About the author:

Terri E. Givens is the former Provost at Menlo College in the San Francisco Bay Area; Professor of Government and European studies at The University of Texas at Austin; Vice Provost overseeing undergraduate curriculum and spearheading global initiatives as its chief international officer. She formed The Center for Higher Education Leadership (CHEL) to provide academic leaders with information and a supportive community for improving management and leadership skills in an environment of changing demographics, financial challenges, and advances in educational technology. CHEL was born of Terri’s experiences navigating these fields and learning along her journey through academe, from professor to vice-provost and provost at universities in Texas and California.

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