Higher Education and the Markeplace
A QUESTION FOR DR. SPANIER: KATHLEEN PAVELKO ON PRIVATIZATION OF HIGHER ED
Editor’s Note: Each Beaver Stadium Pictorial this season contains a
column in which distinguished individuals pose questions about Penn
State to President Graham Spanier. Today’s question is from Kathleen
Pavelko, president of WITF, Inc., the public broadcasting and
telecommunications center in Harrisburg and former assistant general
manager of WPSX-TV and WPSU.
PAVELKO: The operating norms of business and the mechanisms of the
marketplace have been widely adopted recently as the best ways to fix
welfare, improve government services, even transform public
education. What’s the proper role of a major non-profit such as Penn
State when “privatization” seems to be the preferred model for
SPANIER: I think the strength of American higher education — one
aspect of our country that receives unqualified awe from countries
around the world — has been our unique mix of higher education.
Higher education, with its rich diversity of public, private, and
publicly supported institutions, has been the driving factor behind
the strong economy of the United States. I think the last
institution anyone would want to tinker with seriously right now is
American higher education.