President Obama summoned several university presidents and chancellors to his office today for an unusual two-hour session devoted to the economics of higher education, the Washington Post reports. The attendees seemed to have been chosen for their successes in improving the productivity of higher education. Maryland, for example, was represented by not one but two leaders: William “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor of its state university system, and Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In terms of public higher education, Maryland seems to be on a roll. The state has made significant progress in narrowing racial disparities in graduation rates, particularly at UMBC and neighboring Towson University. The state froze tuition for four consecutive years at a time that every other state was raising it…

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