With the busy news week, writing about President Potter’s puff piece just wasn’t a high priority. Now that things have settled down, it’s time to examine President Potter’s op-ed. Though this wasn’t the first thing that jumped off the page at me, it’s still something that caught my attention:

A college education, an education for life, is still a good value, even with average tuition costs at public four-year universities that are somewhat higher than St. Cloud State’s $6,846 per year. (Private four-year not-for-profit colleges average $21,949 per year and four-year private for-profit schools average $15,056 per year).

If the students’ tuition was the total cost per student, that $6,846 tuition might represent a great value. President Potter didn’t include the state funding from the higher ed budget in the cost-per-student figure. If the money from the state biennial budget were included in President Potter’s op-ed, how much would the gap between St. Cloud State’s cost-per-student and a typical private, for-profit college close?

Another important thing that isn’t shown in this op-ed is a comparison of graduation rates and job placement rates between public universities and private, for-profit colleges. It shouldn’t be too difficult to throw in a comparison between private, for-profit colleges earning power over a 30 year career vs. the earning power of a typical SCSU graduate.

There should be two goals for higher ed. First, students should be getting the training they need to be part of a well-trained workforce. Second, students and taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for degrees that don’t train students for real careers.

This paragraph jumped off the page at me, too:

I can assure you that most of us involved in higher education are listening and responding. The broad reorganization process St. Cloud State University has undergone the past few years has been the result of resolve to offer all our students an education that is cost effective, practical and relevant, yet life-altering and profound.

If St. Cloud State got graded for listening, the best that they could hope for is a C-.

After President Potter announced the closing of the Aviation Department, a wide variety of organizations, including city councils, local political parties and transportation organizations, expressed their concerns in resolutions that SCSU’s decision would have a negative effect on St. Cloud’s economy.

Local businessmen spoke with President Potter, too, expressing their worries about the impact President Potter’s decision would have on getting regional air service. Without exception, President Potter said that his decision was final.

This isn’t an attempt to refight that fight. It’s just an example of how President Potter isn’t a good listener. It’s an example of President Potter’s stubbornness.

Stubborn people aren’t good listeners.

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3 Responses to “Potter’s puff piece”

  • Crimson Tide says:

    “By listening to Minnesota employers, we can obtain a greater, much more precise understanding of the state’s workforce needs,” MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said. With the impending aviation workforce shortage, it is apparent that Potter is not listening too well. Maybe Potter does not share Rosenstone’s agenda. For that matter, how well is the legislature paying attention?

  • War Eagle! says:

    Here in Alabama, Airbus will build plant here in Mobile!! By the way, we have an AABI accredited university here in Auburn, Alabama!! At least Auburn knows the value of Aviation unlike St. Cloud State!!! WAR EAGLE!!

  • Crimson Tide says:

    When it comes to being pro business, Alabama is more progressive than Minnesota.

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