Clarity of Purpose
Higher education has come to mean a great many things to the American people—a coming-of-age experience, a stepping-stone holding the promise to a better future, even validation that an individual “belongs” to an exclusive institution. But in a simple sense, it could be argued that it is designed to serve one of two primary purposes: either to advance knowledge, by means of research, or transfer knowledge, through an array of learning experiences. Even as many strive to do so, it’s not common that a single institution can do both equally well, nor should every institution be motivated or incentivized as such. An institution’s value proposition, after all, will necessarily drive its economic model and incentive structure. Those can either be oriented toward, or detract from, student learning and success.
Originally published: February 1, 2023
Author: Scott Pulsipher
Institution: Western Governors University
Published by: Inside Higher Ed