For the last two decades, much of the public and media attention has been focused on the problems in K-12 education. Higher ed coverage was concerned largely with stories on school rankings or sports scandals. Within the industry, of course, there are those who have raised warning flags about quality, about access, and about affordability, yet the mainstream media rarely delved into these complex issues.
Picture this: A fully loaded smart classroom featuring projectors, PDAs, and every type of technology in between. At the helm is a new professor, fiddling with controls and pressing every button on every gizmo, desperately trying to get the PC to "talk" to the whiteboard.
From buying paper and furniture to defibrillators and health insurance, consortia of higher ed institutions are saving up to millions of dollars annually on items bought in bulk-while at the same time breeding greater, long-term relationships built on trust. That adds up to saved time, fewer headaches.
There is a good deal of talk about the need for accountability today-defining learning outcomes, for example, or asking that faculty be accountable for the effectiveness of their teaching. In short, there is a shift from offering programs and degrees to creating value.
During Bill Clinton's 1992 run for the presidency, Democratic strategist James Carville took a simple route to keeping the campaign on message. Carville posted a sign at the Little Rock, Ark., headquarters of the campaign reminding staffers and Clinton of the now-famous phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."