Perspectives

Higher Education Still Has Value Says an Emeriti President of Two Universities


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Higher education still has value either in preparing someone for a career or enhancing his/her worldview through general studies.
So says Dr. Robert Glidden, President Emeritus at Ohio University and California Polytechnic State University. He has had a career of over four decades in higher education administration.
Despite the rising costs of a university education, Dr. Glidden feels that a college education pays off for the student both through enhanced career opportunities and broader knowledge of the world. He argues that a good “liberal arts education” is still valued in our society.
Dr. Glidden concedes that the costs of higher education have escalated at an alarming rate and he is concerned about the amount of debt that most students have upon graduation.
However, he cautions that online and electronic education courses and degrees do not necessarily save money for colleges and universities. He is a strong believer in expanding ways to deliver higher education to a broader swath of the population but he does not think that online courses are a major cost-saver for the institutions sponsoring them.
He also says that it is incumbent upon the universities to assure that the quality of online education matches the quality on face-to-face classroom education.
Dr. Glidden still is a strong proponent of regional campuses to main universities. Not only do they provide non-traditional students with opportunities but they also enhance the geographic region in which they are located, he says.
Dr. Glidden spent 10 years as President of Ohio University from 1994 through 2004. He then became Interim President of California Polytechnic State University in 2010, a position he held for seven months.
His earlier career included three years as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida State University and deanships at Florida State and Bowling Green State University.
Since his retirement, Dr. Glidden has been involved with several national organizations and associations advancing the causes of higher education and he has been a strong proponent of university and program accreditation.