Now That’s Something to Brag About!

I’m just back from the meeting of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and I had to share this tongue-in-cheek observation by W. Taylor Reveley IV, president of Longwood University, which he made during a presentation to the council. I couldn’t transcribe fast enough to provide exact quotes, but it went something like this:

In Virginia, we’re blessed with the greatest system of higher education in the country. The United States is widely acknowledged to have the best system of higher ed in the world. And there is no known extra-terrestrial life. Ergo, Virginia has the best system of higher education in the universe!

I don’t know if such a claim is backed by the data, but I like the way Reveley thinks.

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3 responses to “Now That’s Something to Brag About!

  1. Excellent reporting Jim!

    I do, however, still remain to have high hopes for improvements by the new UVA president, despite the august mountaintop on which he now must stand.

  2. It all depends on one’s view. Virginia has some of the nation’s best public universities. I do not doubt that. Part of the reason was with the baby boom college age populations exploded. U. Va. and W & M decided not to grow fast and become very competitive and raise admissions standards. So these two became two of the most exclusive public universities in America.
    On the other hand if one sees higher education as an important factor in 21st Century economic growth then we do not look so great. VT and GMU have declared they are shooting for the top in research universities but no others has the vision or that potential.
    Virginia’s economy is the most dependent on federal spending of any state in the union. Economic growth in the next Century will be driven be technological advances. And, at this point Virginia’s universities are not competitive in this arena.
    There are many ways to measure this but one is the number of patents registered in each state. According to the patent office we are ranked 30th in # of patents per 100,000 population (Look at the Patent Office.)
    And, there are other technological measures which show the same standing. But none of our politicians seem to want to look at the bigger picture over the long term.
    WE need someone to think ahead.
    And, it is important to not be racing down a road to the new economy looking in the rear view mirror. We need to look ahead.

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