Around the country, thousands upon thousands of young people are graduating from colleges and universities, eager to enter the next phase of their lives – the world of work. They are looking forward to obtaining employment which will make good use of their particular areas of study; and, in many cases, allow them to begin to pay off the often staggering amounts of debt they have accrued.
Each year at this time, thousands and thousands of young people across our country are readying themselves for one of life’s major passages: graduation from college. Two-year or four-year, public or private, our nation’s institutions of higher education have, once again, provided a learning experience which has profoundly changed the outlook of and prospects for our nation’s students. These graduates leave their alma maters more confident, more poised and more knowledgeable. They appear ready to undertake new challenges and new opportunities, to advance their education or to join the world of work. Most have the maturity necessary to move forward with clarity of purpose and, hopefully, the self-awareness required for personal growth and advancement. They appear, by and large, to be ready to fulfill their own unique potential.
Ben Nelson, former CEO of Snapfish, an online photo service, is determined to stand higher education – at least part of it - on its head. His goal is a simple one: provide large numbers of intellectually-gifted students with an education which will challenge them and prepare them to be the “thought leaders” of tomorrow. The approach Mr. Nelson has laid out to do this “breaks the rules” in many ways, and has been variously described as daring and innovative by some, and ineffective, reckless and over-reaching by others.
Let me start my commentary today with an anecdote: Eighteen year- old, Jane Doe, had just arrived at her residence hall at a university and was eagerly anticipating meeting her roommate and getting to know other first- year classmates.
As the clock ticks down to yet another financial crisis, experts across the nation are weighing in on the consequences facing a myriad of critical government programs -- from defense to cancer research to student financial aid to public health to homeland security. Come tomorrow, March 1st, short a last minute agreement, some $85 billion in across-the-board cuts from sequestration will take effect, albeit, over a number of months and, in some cases, years. Such cuts represent annual reductions of approximately 5% for non-defense spending and 8% in defense expenditures.
On Tuesday of this week, Jerry Sandusky received a de facto life sentence of 30-60 years for raping, abusing and assaulting some ten young boys. To this day, Mr. Sandusky denies his guilt and places the blame for his conviction on what he feels is the false testimony of his many victims. As The New York Times stated in an editorial following the sentencing, “The case of Jerry Sandusky for the serial raping of young boys while a coach in Penn State’s football program ended Tuesday as it began: in denial and delusion.”