The results of a new survey of college board members are in and everyone agrees. College is too expensive, except for their college which charges a perfectly reasonable price for tuition.
Kevin Kiley of Inside Higher Ed reports.
The Price is Right
Anybody counting on college and university trustees to hold administrators accountable for lower costs, more graduates and greater efficiency might be advised to look elsewhere for a champion.
A survey released Thursday by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges found that while board members generally think higher education costs too much, most think their institution is perfectly priced. And majorities at both public and private institutions believe that their own institutions can’t do much more to cut costs.
On price and several other issues, the survey reveals a large disconnect between what board members think about their own institutions and prevailing public sentiment as measured by surveys of other organizations. Since trustees at most private institutions and some public institutions hold ultimate authority for setting tuition prices, and since boards are generally responsible for holding administrators accountable and articulating institutional priorities, this disconnect could prove to be a major barrier to bringing about change.
“For colleges and universities to secure continued public understanding and support, there must be better alignment between the public’s needs and higher education’s actions, between the public’s perceptions and higher education’s reality,” the report states. “Currently, the gap between the public and higher education’s governing board members is much too great, as these survey results reveal.”
The report’s authors say they hope this survey’s findings drive trustees to reconsider their positions and more seriously weigh the concerns of the public; ask difficult questions about cost, price and quality; and better explain the value of a college degree, to help minimize the gap.