What are Florida’s public universities for?
It’s a question worth pondering as the October 30 deadline for submission of the report of Governor Scott’s Task Force on Higher Education approaches.
Do our universities exist to prepare students for 21st century opportunities, no matter where those opportunities are?
Or is their primary mission to prepare employees for Florida businesses?
Those two mission statements are different in important ways.
Consider a new bachelor’s degree grad in chemical engineering who gets a job at a refinery in Texas. Did her university do its job, or not?
Or a physics Ph.D. grad who takes a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Is that a success story for a university, or not?
If our mission statement focuses on preparing students for 21st century opportunities, then both are success stories.
If the primary job of our universities is to produce employees for Florida employers, then both stories represent wasted university resources.
Both mission statements are in play for the Task Force.
By the way, Task Force Chair Dale Brill visited the studio physics class of FSU Physics Professor David Van Winkle on October 2. Take a look at Dale’s tweets here, and click on the pictures.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized