Implementing a series of proposals that advocate a business-style, market-driven approach to college education would leave Texas lagging behind other states and drive off top students and faculty, according to a new report released today.
In the strongest language yet to come out of The University of Texas, College of Liberal Arts dean Randy Diehl has authored a point-by-point refutation of the much-discussed “seven solutions” for higher education put forth by Jeff Sandefer and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The 20-page document addresses the solutions in detail, pointing out what Diehl describes as the dangers of applying simple tools and one-size-fits-all fixes to a complex teaching and research university like UT.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The University’s graduation rates, low tuition, and limited state support suggest it is already a national leader in promoting efficiency and excellence.
- Using salaries, class sizes, and student evaluations as the main ways to measure quality betrays an oversimplified understanding of teaching and learning.
- Similar initiatives to the proposed solutions have been introduced elsewhere and have yet to demonstrate significant success.
- Research at The University of Texas at Austin has an impact in the classroom and well beyond campus. Separating research and teaching would fundamentally change the mission of the university.
- For-profit educational institutions do not provide models of efficiency or fiscal responsibility.
- Competitive market forces can play a productive role in promoting excellence in higher education but the classroom should not be treated as a marketplace.
The University also announced today the formation of a new task force on graduation rates, chaired by Dean Diehl, who will issue a report by December.
See how news organizations have covered the report:
- Austin American-Statesman: UT dean disputes governor, ‘breakthrough solutions’
- Beaumont Enterprise: UT fires back at Perry plan, says college is not ‘Banana Republic’
- Chronicle of Higher Education: U. of Texas dean blasts higher-education reform agenda
- Houston Chronicle: ‘Seven Solutions’ draws new rebuttal
- Huffington Post: UT rejects Rick Perry’s plan to treat students as ‘customers’ in new proposal
- Inside Higher Ed: Texas dean pushes back at ‘breakthrough solutions’
- KUT: Gov. Perry, UT dean at odds over higher ed changes
- San Antonio Express: UT report takes aim at college ‘solutions’
- Texas Tribune: UT Dean rejects ‘Seven Solutions’ in new report
- WTAW: UT-Austin report blasts ed reform suggestions