What is good public policy for private higher education?
S. Muller. Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, (1975)
In 1974 the Task Force of the National Council of Independent College and Universities sought means of reducing tuition costs to students in the private sector and of thus ensuring the vitality of a pluralistic system of higher education in the U.S. This article is a discussion of the public-private dialogue in the light of Task Force recommendations, adapted from an address before the Southern Regional Education Board. (Editor/LBH) What makes private or independent institutions is how they are governed. One of the virtues of private institutions is that their governance is independent or private. Private institutions serve a vital role in higher education in this country because they are a check and a balance to a sometimes overwhelming governmental presence in the governance of public higher education. What then is the appropriate public policy? It is not a question of whether we should support private higher education, but how. Problems involved are: (1) how to narrow the tuition gap; (2) providing access for middle-income students; and, (3) tuition-offset grants tie institutional aid to students. A solution is to provide a state subsidy that is large enough to keep the Private institution in business and attractive to students. The best way to demonstrate that politically is a tuition-offset formula. It is possible to put pressure on the federal government to correct the geographic inequities that are evident and to demonstrate that it is a good bargain for the taxpayers in the state. (Author/KE)