"Back to Business"
Faculty culture determines to a large extent the quality of teaching in an institution of higher learning. When research imperatives begin to eclipse a faculty's commitment to undergraduate instruction, colleges and universities suffer a decline in the quality of education they provide. This issue contends that it is time to reassert the primacy of educational missions and, in particular, the preparation of the future professoriate.
"The Lattice and the Ratchet"
This issue proposes a diagnosis of institutional cost expansion over the last ten years, elucidating the trend by means of metaphors that describe the expansion of administrative support systems (the "lattice"), and the tendency for faculty's commitment as a group to institutional goals to decrease as their individual commitments to research and personal goals increase (the "ratchet").
Despite efforts over three decades and the expenditure of billions of dollars, economic and educational disadvantage remain linked. This issue of Policy Perspectives posits a national obligation to imagine ways in which both inclusiveness and quality may be enhanced, and it offers seven recommendations for recasting federal education policy. They include prioritizing the needs of traditional-aged students, retaining the voucher system of distributing federal student aid, establishing sustaining connections between four-year and community colleges, and addressing the flow of federal moneys into vocational schools.
"Breaking the Mold"
Non-traditional students account for a growing proportion of higher education enrollment. While colleges and universities have made progress in marketing to older, ethnically diverse, and economically disadvantaged students, they tend to forget that different kinds of students may require different kinds of education.