Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities—WAICU’s members—have a long history of working together in common cause in partnership with Wisconsin’s public colleges and universities. WAICU presidents and the UW System chancellors share priorities and challenges in serving Wisconsin’s higher educational needs.
In the latest demonstration of this partnership, UW System President Ray Cross addressed the fall meeting of the WAICU presidents during the fall WAICU board of directors meeting, held on October 27, 2016 at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
President Cross described four broad purposes of a college education:
development of “self” knowledge; advancement of a common good; developing an educated populace in a democracy; and enhancing one’s ability to participate in the economy. A good “return on investment” in a college education is one that incorporates both the economic value of the college education—a good job—with developing the values that make a good life.
Cross emphasized that these two purposes are not mutually exclusive – quoting Wendell Berry, higher education ought to produce “not just trained workers or knowledgeable citizens but responsible heirs and members of human culture.”
This shared understanding of the purpose of higher education is the basis for the public-private partnership.