Commenting on my post, below, in which I offer congratulations to Mitch Daniels, who at the end of this year will step down as governor of Indiana to become president of Purdue University, Ricochet member Robert Barraud Taylor asks a question that strikes me as more than intriguing.
In Robert's own words:
As not only a former Hoosier, but a former professor within the...well, let's say the Indiana Higher Education System, so as not to be too specific...I was pretty excited by the Governor's decision. My wife was even more excited: "Think of what Mitch did to Motor Vehicles! Imagine what he can do to Purdue!" (She is referring to the fact that the average wait time in Indiana at the BMV is phenomenally miniscule...and that the Governor personally monitors the average time.)
Myself, I am not so sanguine. University presidents of the last thirty years have succeeded by doing nothing. A reformist university president--a near-oxymoron, alas--requires all the capabilities and instincts that Machiavelli wished to see in a Prince.
This makes me wonder what other Ricoteers inside or on the fringes of academia would advise the Governor. What are some measures, tactics or reforms that he could plausibly introduce?
My first suggestion: make undergraduates work a lot harder than they now are. More homework, more labs, more everything. Most of cultural problems on campuses come from undergrads having too much free time.
And there you have it: The state of higher education being what it is--which is to say, far, far from what it ought to be--what advice would folks here at Ricochet give to Mitch?