In the documentary, Ivory Tower, the filmmaker Andrew Rossi takes Higher Education to task. Like many film directors competing for public attention, Mr. Rossi makes some bold assertions about an obvious question in order to create controversy. He asks if a college education is really worth it. Then he goes on to lament problems of mounting student debt, universities operating on a strictly business model, and college instructors who pander to students who appear to prefer good grades over actual knowledge.
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year. I enjoyed talking to my father early in morning and being the first in the family to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. I also got to talk to my oldest son who called to wish me well, and later in the day go to two hardware stores, one in which I was easily talked into buying a new tool that I had only seen advertised on television. If it does half the things shown on TV, it will be well worth the price, but I think Caryn has her doubts. So the value remains to be seen.
All colleges and universities must strive for relevance or risk becoming obsolete. Our new billboards touch on one aspect of this. I’ll touch on another, huge dimension of higher education relevance in an upcoming blog that Linda will re-release while Caryn and I take a few days off for vacation at the end of the month. I wrote it last year while presiding at Sul Ross, but it pertains to the value of a university education in the modern world. But today’s blog is about the need for workers to occasionally re-tool when economic shifts occur. These prospective students are part of a group higher education refers to as “non-traditional” and stand in contrast to most students who enter college straight out of high school.
Coach Betty Casey was in my office yesterday, or rather in Linda’s office, and I asked her when World Cup was starting. I hadn’t seen hardly anything about one of the biggest sporting events of the year but read somewhere that the championship match would occur the first week in July. So I assumed it would be starting soon. Luckily for me, Coach B had all the details.
Last Saturday morning I was pleasantly surprised to open the front page of the Hobbs News-Sun and see the top headline announce that two Lady Eagles softball players have signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of the Southwest. And then just this morning there was another feature by HNS Sports Editor Clayton Jones showcasing the signing of Riley Castleman to play golf for the Mustangs in the upcoming year. In addition to two nicely written articles, both included pictures of our standout signees with their families. The first photo included Coach Ron Landschoot, Mackenzie Savell, Anaisa Boynton, and several family members that was taken at the signing event in the Maddox Student Life Center; the second picture centered on a smiling Riley Castleman and his family, Hobbs High School Coach, Victor Rotunno, and new USW head golf coach Doug Wilkinson.