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.

Don Drumm Studios

NOCHE

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


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's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

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