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The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

ELPA News

Conrad speaks to New York Times about declining state funding for higher education

June 24, 2016

UW-Madison’s Clifton Conrad recently spoke with the New York Times for a report headlined, “How Public Universities Are Addressing Declines in State Funding.”

The Times article begins: “Public colleges and universities are grappling with diminishing resources, largely because of significant declines in state funding over the years. The average state is now spending 20 percent less per student than it did at the start of the recession in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research organization. Some public higher education systems are experiencing much deeper cuts.”

Clifton Conrad mugshot
Conrad
The report continues: “In response, almost all public colleges and universities have increased tuition while considering other ways to raise revenue, lower costs and maintain high standards. We asked three top educators about potential solutions to the funding problems: Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California; Bernadette Gray-Little, chancellor of the University of Kansas; and Clifton Forbes Conrad, a professor of higher education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

Conrad is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and a faculty member in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He is also an affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE).

The Times covers a range of topics, asking questions such as: “State funding has always gone up and down, but it seems like there’s a fear there won’t be anymore ups in the future — that these cuts are the new normal.”

Conrad then tells the Times: “What is different here is that this is a very dramatic decline; it’s pretty precipitous and has been going on for a few years.”

To learn more about this report, the range of topics it looks at and the nuanced answers provided, check out the entire report for free on the New York Times website.
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