Opinion: Universities can survive only with radical reform

To accomplish the wholesale change that is needed to prepare graduates for the 21st century, universities must break out of the silo structures that have calcified over time, and they must embrace the lessons of the Millennial Generation and its collaborative operating principle, writes Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee in the Christian Science Monitor. "At this defining moment — when our communities and our nation need us more than ever — we must fundamentally reinvent our institutions. We must become more agile, more responsive, less insular, and less bureaucratic. In so doing, we will save ourselves from slouching into irrelevance," Gee writes. Advocating a future for higher education that fosters creativity, innovation, and daring, Gee says university leaders also must seek new kinds of collaborations. "Higher education changes lives, improves communities, feeds the world, sustains art and culture, cures diseases, and develops the technologies that will one day free us from dependency on fossil fuels. By joining forces with local businesses, we share the fruits of education, assure our relevancy, and give external partners reason to invest in us," he writes. "Perhaps most important, we must establish richer partnerships with one another, particularly community colleges. They are the first responders, retraining laid-off workers, creating new programs in such fields as green-energy technology, and doing so much more — with so much less…"

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