President, Templeton Laird
Most commentators expect the foreseeable future to be dominated by the impact of accelerating change, characterized by technological change, globalization, and climate change. Nearly all agree that high quality higher education will be a key resource on both the national and state levels.
Within that context what will be the most significant policy challenges for Higher Education? To address these challenges college trustees, presidents, elected leaders, faculty leadership, and donors will need to develop and maintain an adaptive course of significant change while securing quality and integrity. The identification of policy options and subsequent decisions need to occur within the framework of broad policy goals supported by continuous research and analysis.
Within this context what are the Strategic Questions for leaders:
- Given the pace of change and growing competition, where will leadership for higher education emerge?
- Given the dramatic changes in national and regional demographics, how will higher education respond?
- In a period of dramatic and sustained change, who will be educated and how will it be funded?
While this paper is focused on Minnesota all states will experience variations on the categories which follow and no states will be immune from major effects of the changes.
A common theme among demographers is that demography is destiny unless organizations plan for that which can be anticipated. Minnesota is currently in a period of significant demographic change which will affect nearly every function of the State. Although much of the change has been documented and known to be coming and ignored by political and most educational leadership, adaptation has been delayed and modest responses have been insufficient.
- Age – without a major influx of younger immigrants, Minnesota will continue