Chart(er)ing the wrong path for Ohio:Favor the rich, disinvest in the rest
Gary Rhoades Professor of Higher Education, Center for the Study of Higher Education,University of Arizona9/21/11
Chancellor Jim Petro’s proposal for “Enterprise universities” (originally called“charter universities”) charts the wrong path for building a strong Ohio. It provides thewrong incentives for universities, favors the wrong institutions, and opens the way towidespread misuse of public monies. It takes Ohio’s universities away from ensuringaffordability and access, from enhancing quality, and from laying the foundation for avibrant, knowledge based economy to replace its declining, rust belt economy. It favorsand features the richest few Ohio universities, which serve a small share of Ohio’sundergraduates, while disinvesting in the rest, which serve the vast majority of Ohio’scollege students. Moreover, the Enterprise University plan eliminates not bureaucraticred tape but clean government policies that were established to prevent government practices that abuse and waste public money.
The wrong incentives
. The Enterprise University plan offers the wrong incentives toOhio’s universities. Consider college affordability. For decades, the burden for the costof higher education has been shifting from the state to the student, as the state hasreduced its investment in higher education. Although Petro’s plan decries students’ debt burden, it will increase that burden by further reducing state support (from 10-20% for universities in the enterprise system), thereby shifting the cost to students. Given that for