UA's Bobbitt: Traditional University Model Out of Date

by Mark Carter  on Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2012 2:36 pm  

The current tuition model essentially charges the same amount for all courses, he said. "Would that work in the business community?" 

Of course, Bobbitt remains a champion of the on-campus experience and cited a study that supports it. The study of incoming Rice University freshmen found that 15 percent of the targeted students came from the school's home county in Texas. The same study revealed that 33 percent of Rice graduates remained to live and work in the school's actual ZIP code. 

"If you attract bright, creative folks, they are likely to stay," he said.

Student demographics are changing, Bobbitt said, and schools must adapt to them.

"Should we nibble around the edges, or think of a new model," he asked. "There's a lot of room to change the business models in academics."

Bobbitt said he would join a group of university leaders to meet Friday with President Obama and lobby against a proposed reduction in the number of Pell grants awarded. The U.S. Department of Education is considering reducing the number by 8 percent. An option, favored by Bobbitt and others, would be to cut the amount of each award by 8 percent. Bobbitt said that would at least get many students in the door.

Bobbitt is the former provost at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was selected last year to replace the retiring Alan Sugg. Originally from Pennsylvania, Bobbitt received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the UA, where he eventually returned to teach, and his doctorate from Iowa State University. 



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