Book Club: ‘Saving Alma Mater – A Rescue Plan for America’s Public Universities’
Per the author, America’s public universities educate 80% of our nation’s college students. But in the wake of rising demand on state treasuries, changing demographics, growing income inequality, and legislative indifference, many of these institutions have fallen into decline. Tuition costs have skyrocketed, class sizes have gone up, the number of courses offered has gone down, and the overall quality of education has decreased significantly.
James Garland draws on more than thirty years of experience as an educator, administrator and university president to argue a new compact between state government and universities is needed to make these schools more affordable and financially secure. “Saving Alma Mater” challenges a change-resistant culture in academia that places too low a premium on efficiency and productivity. Seeing a crisis of campus leadership, Garland takes state legislatures to task for perpetuating the decay of their public university systems and calls for reforms in the way university presidents and governing boards are selected. He concludes that the era is long past when state appropriations can enable public universities to keep their fees low and affordable.