Assignment: The Critical Components of Higher Education (Part 2)

I’m trying to study for my Writing course and I need some help to understand this question.

This week, your task this week will be to prepare a short narrative relating business/political interests to the board’s challenges, including a discussion of how changing social, economic, and political influences have led to the board’s concerns.

Consider the following scenario:

Your institution has a governing board composed of businesspeople and community leaders. All faculty and staff are invited to attend monthly board meetings, in which your university president and her staff present reports and answer questions from the board about progress on various initiatives and programs. During a recent meeting, the board presented a series of challenges to the president: increase the number of students graduating each year; improve graduates’ writing and critical thinking abilities; and accomplish both within the existing budget.

Note that these challenges match up with the first three priorities in Newman’s list above: improving students’ writing and critical thinking abilities requires taking responsibility for student learning; increasing the number of graduates focuses on attainment (completion of educational goals) rather than just access; and accomplishing these goals without seeking additional funding requires attention to efficiency and productivity.

The board has asked for a plan to show progress on these goals within three years. The president has called together an emergency task force of faculty and staff, including you, to start work on the plan. Your contribution will include preparing some background information, some recommended strategies, and some resources that could be used by the task force in developing its plan.

Using the readings and other resources provided this week, write 2–3 pages on the following questions:

  1. How have the political and economic factors impacting higher education changed in recent years?
  2. How have these factors led to a concern about issues of student learning and graduation?
  3. Why are the board members concerned about accomplishing change without increasing costs?

Continue using the institutional profile you selected or created last week. You may organize your paper any way you wish, but consider using headings to help the reader follow your arguments. Be sure to include citations for the readings and resources you use as sources.

Formatting Your Assignment: Follow APA style to format your paper. Combine last week’s assignment with this one; include a cover page, an introduction, a conclusion, and a reference page. Use the Scholarly Writing Tutorial included in this week’s Learning Resources to get an overview of the scholarly writing process and the basics of APA citation and formatting.

Assignment Length: 2–3 pages (Combine with Week 3 for total of 4–6 pages) I have included Week 3… Please build from there.

Course Text: Newman, F., Couturier, L., & Scurry, J. (2004). The future of higher education: Rhetoric, reality, and the risks of the market. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 1, “Higher Education in the Grip of Transforming Change”
Course Readings

Course Text:
In Defense of American Higher Education

  • Chapter 6, “Higher Education and Those ‘Out of Control Costs'” (D. Bruce Johnstone)

Course Text:
The Future of Higher Education: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Risks of the Market

  • Chapter 12, “A Decade of Opportunity”

Online Report: The Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education. (2006).
A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education. Retrieved from