The idea has been expressed in many ways over the previous several years C overhaul, reform, revolution, and now a reboot C but yet it\’s put, the reality it describes are the same: the American higher education system is looking for some drastic and immediate changes if it\’s to continue to remain competitive in the global marketplace and produce graduates ready and willing to become the pillars that support and grow the nation’s economy.
Although there are a number of challenges facing the higher education system in this country, based on Steven Bell writing in Library Journal, the 3 mains hurdles seem to be the ever-increasing price of attending college, the stagnation that keeps many universities from breaking with the status quo, and a failing primary and secondary education system that leaves its graduates unprepared for college-level academic work.
All these problems were raised and discussed recently during the Summit on Higher Education hosted by Time Magazine. In most, 100 leaders of academic institutions and better education experts gathered together to go over the steps colleges and universities need to take in order to ensure continued success. The problem of finances got a lot of air time, with many attendees admitting that out-of-control spending by many schools — often using the goal of raising their prestige being more attractive to the best potential students — is forcing these to recoup these expenses by continuously raising tuition.
Whatever you think of those three themes, and there is no mistaking that higher education has other significant challenges-retention, accountability, athletics, adjuncts, deferred maintenance, just to name a few-it\’s clear the vast majority of colleges and universities have substantial chance of change and improvement. It might be hard to declare that academic libraries, just like other academic support services, bring about the overall problem. Maintaining our resources certainly adds to the escalating cost of tuition, but much of that is because of circumstances beyond our control.
Bell issues an indication that university libraries, some of the most useful resources distributed around students and faculty, come with an important role to experience in the higher education revolution. Over the years, they’ve continually set a good example of fiscal responsibility by weighing the pros and cons of the allocation of every dollar in the budget. They have also been strongly dedicated to expanding access to academic publishing to more and more people both on and off campus .
They’ve also led the way in which on digital innovation and also have embraced the integration of information technology to their domain.
When academic librarians demonstrate the need for their services and the institution\’s return on its purchase of the library in research dollars or student graduation rates, the assessment effort helps all higher education to attain greater accountability. Despite these positive contributions to a better, more efficient higher education, academic librarians know they cannot rest on their laurels. Higher education is headed for a reboot, and we will want to be right there helping it along.