Mercyhurst president to lead discussion on demographics and debt

Michael Victor will also focus on the challenges that are unique to private colleges, especially liberal arts colleges. | File photo
Michael Victor, the president of Mercyhurst University, will host a discussion at the Jefferson Educational Society to address the various challenges that face higher education, such as debt and demographics.

There are several topics that people are concerned with when it comes to college. Many people have started to ask whether college will help graduates to find jobs, or whether there is something else that students can gain while they attend college. Higher education leaders are also concerned that science, technology, engineer, and math are overwhelming liberal arts. Another subject is whether college could ever be “free.”

Other concerns for higher education include student loan debt, high school graduation rates declining, affordability of college, downturn in government funding, requirements from accreditation overseers, competition among for-profit colleges, and popularity rising for online education.

During his discussion, Victor will also focus on the challenges that are unique to private colleges, especially liberal arts colleges.

“One thing I’ve stressed as part of my presidency at Mercyhurst is that higher education leaders can no longer follow a path of misguided optimism, of one’s gut or intuition,” Victor said. “The days of informal structures and casual leadership are gone. Ours must be a thoughtful, strategic business model rooted in preparedness, research-based problem solving, analysis and best practice.”

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