News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Lehmans

Cedar Point


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


Ohio college presidents Chema and Proenza let loose
They say America has a love-hate relationship with education: They love it in concept, but with little else
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Luis Proenza (L) and Tom Chema at the Akron Press Club. Both helped improve and solidify their schools and both are leaving office next year.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Two area college presidents -- who both plan to step down next year -- opened up about the future of higher education,  and what bothers them about the present day. Tom Chema of Hiram College and Luis Proenza of the University of Akron told the Akron Press Club they’d like to see academia treated with a little more respect.

LISTEN: Proenza and Chema on what's happened, and what's coming, in higher education

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:16)


Tom Chema has been president at Hiram College for a decade and Luis Proenza had been president at the University of Akron for almost 15 years. Maybe it’s looking at the end of their terms as presidents that allowed Chema and Proenza to open up but they weren’t afraid to criticize today's politicians, or even the students. Lawyer-turned-businessman-turned-college-president Chema sounded frustrated when he said we’re living in an era of anti-intellectualism. 

"We hear over and over again today that college is not worth it today.”

Chema said a large part of the problems with government now are a result of having an under-educated populace that decides more on emotion than intelligence.

Costs and myths
He runs a small private college and Proenza runs a large state university, but they tended to agree. Proenza said a college education appreciates in value and is a good return on investment.


"The average indebtedness at Akron is below $21,000, I believe, and that’s for most of us less than the price of a car.  That’s something that’s going to appreciate; it's not going to depreciate. Your car isn’t going to be worth a dime in five or 10 years.”

While steep student loans have received a lot of attention, Chema says students at non-profit colleges in Ohio today are not saddled with much more debt than in the past.

“The average debt that a student comes out of college with is only 4 percent higher than it was in 1968 as a percentage of starting salary.”

A change in mission and measures
But state support for education has gone down and Chema predicts more colleges will merge or go out of business. The Hiram president says the Ohio lawmakers made it clear in 1991 they wanted to see more of Ohio’s top students in Ohio schools. That led to more merit scholarships handed out to students who were likely to come from well-off families.

A school that successfully competes for top students or keeps out average students can appear to be more successful. But Proenza thinks that’s a poor measure of how well a school is performing.

“It is high time we abolish this nonsense that just because I accept good students that makes me excellent or because I have more money than you I’m excellent.  Unless I can demonstrate that I have a higher output – a higher return (in how students perform) -- I don’t think I should be accorded No. 1 in the nation just because I have $7 billion or $15 billion in the bank.”

Next dimension
Proenza and Chema both see online classes as the coming wave, with some classes being offered for free, and say students will received credit for knowledge acquired on the Internet, even through free courses.

These days, they say they're both seeing a new type of student. Proenza describes them as coddled, and Chema says have a lower emotional IQ.

“At a much earlier stage than when an 18-or 19-year-old arrives on our doorstep, those kids need to have had some mistakes that they’ve made, some failures that they’ve experienced, some opportunities to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go on.They also need to understand how to resolve some disputes. “

Another trend is simply a matter of demographics. The number of 18-year-olds peaked three years ago and so there are fewer traditional students in the pipeline for Ohio's public and private colleges. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

The Akron Sound rocks the porches
fabulous group interview! you covered so much in so little time. wish i could be there for porch rockr.

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University