Governor Kasich has asked Ohio’s universities to work together so they can have more input into budgeting and share ideas for reducing costs. The Dispatch editorial below has more about this important step toward ensuring that our kids and grandkids can stay in Ohio to attend college and technical schools:
Gov. John Kasich has asked Ohio’s 37 public colleges and universities to figure out how to divvy up the state’s slim budget and submit a single wish list for campus construction and repairs.
Positioning the schools to cooperate rather than compete is astute.
University leaders are best-positioned to evaluate the hard choices that must be made, since they live with the problems daily and will have to live with the decisions long-term. And by making colleges sit down together to determine priorities, they cannot help but gain a better understanding of the needs of their sister institutions.
The governor focused the universities by giving them a tight deadline to draw up a common capital-improvements request: They have two months. The tight deadline will reduce the amount of time for politicking and make this a more straightforward task.
The upcoming budget won’t provide nearly enough, but making the colleges confer could elicit a more-disciplined request. When colleges created lists individually, they were apt to ask for more than they expected to get, leaving state officials to try to figure out priorities.
Times have changed. Schools will need to be respectful of each others’ challenges. Ohio’s public universities and colleges already are allied, having formed the University System of Ohio in 2007 to decrease duplication and share resources. Asking them to unify over a capital budget is a logical next step.
And universities have been asking for less imposition from the state and greater freedom. This should give them the opportunity to show they can handle it.
You can read the entire editorial here.