Like when Congress donated federal land in the 1860s to establish universities, or when World War II veterans flocked to colleges as part of the G.I. Bill, or when the Russian satellite Sputnik first started orbiting Earth, LSU President and Baton Rouge Chancellor King Alexander told the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge on Wednesday that the United States needs some kind of a spark that will trigger a new era of investment in higher education.
America, he said, dropped to 11th in the world in the number of students who complete a college education.
After leading the world for most of the 20th century, the U.S. is now behind the United Kingdom, Poland and South Korea.
Additionally, since 1995, the U.S. holds the dubious distinction of being the most highly-developed nation in the world in which a prior generation earned college degrees at a higher rate than the generation that followed.