In an op-ed posted today on RealClearEducation, Pat Callan, a board member at Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, outlines five ways school trustees can wield their power to help make college affordable for students and families. In the piece, he refers to a recent survey, where 1,400 college trustees pointed to the price of college as their top concern, while questioning the rubber stamp tendencies of governing boards when faced with tuition hike proposals in the rate-setting process.
Callan highlights the need for trustees to recognize the power they hold to facilitate change. Instead of voting unanimously to increase tuition with little or no deliberation, trustees should be asking thoughtful questions while considering cost-saving measures like open educational resources and digital textbooks. Throughout the budget process, institutional boards would benefit from seeking the input of stakeholders, encouraging the participation of students and parents, while partnering with state lawmakers to lower costs and improve educational quality. Until trustees take action, the cost of higher education will continue to rise.
In addition to serving as a board member at Partners, Pat Callan is the President of the Higher Education Policy Institute and formerly served as President of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, President of the California Higher Education Policy Center, and Executive Director of state higher education commissions in California, Washington, and Montana.