A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education
U.S. Department of Education, 2006.
“Three hundred and seventy years after the first college in our fledgling nation was established to train Puritan ministers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it is no exaggeration to declare that higher education in the United States has become one of our greatest success stories. Whether America’s colleges and universities are measured by their sheer number and variety, by the increasingly open access so many citizens enjoy to their campuses, by their crucial role in advancing the frontiers of knowledge through research discoveries, or by the new forms of teaching and learning that they have pioneered to meet students’ changing needs, these postsecondary institutions have accomplished much of which they and the nation can be proud.
Despite these achievements, however, this commission believes U.S. higher education needs to improve in dramatic ways. As we enter the 21st century, it is no slight to the successes of American colleges and universities thus far in our history to note the unfulfilled promise that remains. Our yearlong examination of the challenges facing higher education has brought us to the uneasy conclusion that the sector’s past attainments have led our nation to unwarranted complacency about its future.”