Launch of The Higher Education Task Force Report
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Omni Shoreham Hotel, Regency
Ballroom, Washington, D.C.
Henry Rosovsky Co-chair, Task Force for Higher Education
I would like to thank everybody who made comments and I obviously
cannot answer them now, though many of the suggestions were excellent.
Many of the faults that you pointed out probably do exist, although
I will have to say that quick reading shows in some of your remarks,
because quite a number of the points are covered.
I'll give you only one example. This whole question of public/private/philanthropic:
we devote quite a good few lines precisely to that point, as well
as to some others. I think the question about student politics and
the brain drain issue is covered quite extensively, and of course
Mr. Wolfensohn mentioned the science centers which is a Bank initiative
precisely at this point.
The very last comment, are we a guide to the future - I would say
this: certainly you exaggerated my remark, that was never my intention,
but I do think there is some question in our minds about what the
future will look like. We do say a fair amount about virtual universities,
about IT, about networks and so forth, but let me speak for myself,
and say I think that the traditional university will remain alive
into our future, and that it will remain a center of education complemented
by the rest.
Just one last point. I was a little puzzled by another thing Professor
Levi said, that we seemed to be too academic, too focused on the
research universities. I thought our whole systems chapter is precisely
designed to get away from that, to articulate a whole vision that
is composed of all different kinds of institutions, including for
profit, vocational and so forth, but that they should fit into some
kind of a rational vision.
I think your comments are excellent. If we ever put out another
edition we will certainly take these very much into account. One
very last point, this is certainly a discussion document. That is
the intention. I think the discussion that is taking place today
shows that it is accomplishing at least part of its purpose.