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A Roadmap for Transforming Higher Ed (Guest Post)

The following is the last in a three-part series of guest posts by Rasmus Lynnerup, former executive vice chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. See the first and second posts.

What is required to ensure the continued success of our fellow citizens and our democracy as a whole? In short, high-quality, well-funded, well-run institutions attracting the highest levels of professional talent. These institutions must be run by accountable boards and executives and promote one thing only: student outcomes in college and beyond.

To do so, radical changes to the system are required. Among them:

  • Changing the accreditation system towards promoting more relevance and better outcomes
  • Dismantling parallel governance systems and holding boards and executives accountable to student outcomes in college and beyond
  • Restructuring state and federal funding sources to support explicit public policy goals for the industry and increasing funding for those institutions that improve student outcomes
  • Ensuring the hiring of the best managerial talent into management and executive positions
  • Insisting on 100 percent relevance of all classes and programs at public higher education institutions – whether to ensure full, seamless transfer between organizations or to meet the requirements of employers
  • Structuring the industry around the student to provide them with a system that is transparent and fully integrated across all public institutions
  • Providing real-time, proactive interventions to students based on the mountains of individual student data that reside within postsecondary institutions
  • Running these organizations like the effective businesses they can be.

These changes will not be easy, and many special interests will object. That is even more reason to start sooner rather than later. In fact, let’s start now. Equitable, world-class outcomes are not too much to expect in our America.

About Rasmus Lynnerup

Rasmus is a first-generation college student who immigrated to the U.S. in his 20s. He now resides in Chicago, where he served as executive vice chancellor for the City Colleges of Chicago. He has a passion for helping his adopted home country’s residents fulfill their highest potential and rebuild a system of higher education that his twin boy and girl can grow up to view with pride.

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