UT president promises ‘revolutionary’ changes to higher education
University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs told staff and faculty Thursday to anticipate “revolutionary” changes in higher education over the next five years as universities, including UT, adjust to new fiscal challenges and work force trends.
Speaking before an audience of several hundred inside UT’s University Hall, Dr. Jacobs said expected cuts to higher education funding and growing questions nationally over the value and relevance of obtaining a college degree call for major changes in how universities are run and the academic opportunities they offer.
“Higher education is at a turning point...” Dr. Jacobs told the crowd. “The University of Toledo will continue to provide leadership during this period of change.”
Dr. Jacob’s address marked the five-year anniversary of UT’s merger with the Medical University of Ohio. His speech highlighted the university’s achievements since that merger and outlined his vision for the next five years.
That vision includes applying ideas from the corporate world to increase efficiency and productivity. He cited merit-based incentives for staff as an example. The university must also greatly expand the use of technology in teaching and create more opportunities for online learning, he said.
There must also be an ever-greater focus on providing students with practical knowledge they can use in the real world, through direct work experience and the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills, the president emphasized.
“Internships, service learning, travel, and work experience must be more fully embraced by the higher learning establishment,” Dr. Jacobs said.
Faculty and student leaders at the event applauded the president’s speech.
Student government president Matthew Rubin praised Dr. Jacobs expressed desire to create more practical opportunities for student learning. He said he believes UT’s future is bright despite the challenges ahead.
“In any kind of crisis there’s always going to be opportunity,” Mr. Rubin said. “We have to be able to see the positive in any kind of challenge.”