IWU President Dick Wilson said you can't measure student success simply based on graduation rates. (WJBC File Photo)
By Adam Studzinski
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan University President Dick Wilson has some concerns with President Barack Obama's proposals for higher education.
Wilson said he's not a fan of the rating system Obama wants to create for universities. According to Wilson, Obama is connecting information, such as graduation rates, with what a school adds to a student’s experience.
"If you really want to talk about what's happening to kids, you can't do it with a one point in time measure like a graduation rates," said Wilson. "You really have to track it over a period of time. What did these students learn? How have they changed over time? What benefit are they adding to society, not only immediately after graduation but for several years?"
According to Wilson graduation is not the primary goal of an institution.
"The goal is for kids to learn something," he said.
Wilson added that some students career's go sideways for a number of years after leaving school and it's not for five or ten years that you can really determine their contribution to society.
Despite some of Wilson's objections to Obama's proposals, he did find some positives.
"Transparency with parents and students with things like graduation rates and what the net cost is going to be to them; what the average financial aid package is going to be; what are the employment returns for them." Wilson said.
Wilson believes that information is fair game and universities should absolutely provide it.
Adam Studzinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.