This is the paper that led to PHENOM’s founding. It was read by Governor-Elect Patrick and discussed by him with a group of students, union leaders and administrators on December 1, 2006. Hundreds of people then heard him say that he would be “a champion for public higher education.” 100 people participated in breakout sessions that day and concluded there was a need for a statewide multi-constituency group to advocate for the goals outlined in this paper.
From the Introduction and Executive Summary: The Public Higher Education Coalition has come together to articulate a broad vision of how the Commonwealth’s public higher education system can be dramatically improved. Tinkering on the edges of the system — a little more financial aid, a year or two of slightly increased funding, a few more teachers in classrooms — will not achieve our aims. Dramatic, principled investment based on an in-depth understanding of the critical importance of public higher education to the Commonwealth will.
For all the outstanding teaching, research and public service that is done at our 29 campuses, the system has not been provided the means to become what the citizens of the Commonwealth need nd deserve: one of the finest public higher education systems in the nation. Now is the time, finally, to build that system.
The following paper outlines the five key goals we believe the new Governor (and everyone committed to public higher education) should embrace. For each goal, we provide relevant background information, facts and figures, and some clear steps that should be taken to move us toward the goal.