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The conservative argument for state investment in public higher education – in one chart

In Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

The leaders of Michigan’s 15 public universities, joined by the staff of the Michigan Association of State Universities, have long touted the personal return on investment a student earns with a four-year college degree. We’ve also long talked about the benefits that accrue to the state and to society when it makes public higher education an investment priority. And in …

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Michigan’s Fiscal Train and the Cliff Ahead: Maybe We Should Switch Tracks

In Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

One thing that’s always perplexed me is how drivers occasionally get hit by trains. Trains don’t veer off course. Trains don’t suddenly make a right turn in front of you on your way to the grocery store. Trains just lumber steadily down the track, unable to slow down or speed up very fast. A part of me thinks that if …

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The Secret to Student Success: Actually Counting All the Students

In Accountability by Bob Murphy

Nobody would trade in a working car to a dealer that only wanted to buy the engine, one headlight, and two doors. No utility would let a customer pick and choose which kilowatts of energy they felt like paying for. American politicians don’t get to hold votes in secret and hide their voting records from constituents. So why would anybody …

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Data Over Dogma: Facts Matter

In Accountability by Bob Murphy

Universities are many things to many people—classrooms, workforce development engines, research and development institutions, and beacons of civic pride. But universities are also an ancient endeavor, created in something close to their current form at the University of Bologna in 1088, predating the modern nation-state by 560 years. In those intervening 929 years, one thing has remained constant: the teaching …

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Funding Higher Ed Funds State Incomes

In Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

There are few states that would be described as being flush with cash. State officials (justifiably) want to know the return on the investment they’re making with public revenues. And for years, state universities have argued in turn that investment in public higher education leads to wealthier states. With a little help from our friend Excel (and an assist from …