2 Years Vs. 4 Years
“We lost,” announced the lobbyist for all the university presidents. At least Dr. Mike Boulus can count. Now he must make sure the count in the Michigan Senate does not get to twenty which means the C.C.’s would be one step away from offering four-year baccalaureate degrees which only the universities can do.
This is a turf war in the grandest sense of the term.
Rep. John Walsh, (R-Livonia) and himself a former community college official, has been on a one year mission to allow those colleges to offer a four year degree to some students.
The program would be limited to teaching the culinary arts, nursing and maritime and cement technologies. Walsh contends the big schools want nothing to do with this training, so why not let the community folks fill the void?
Boulus begs to differ saying “We are meeting all immediate needs.”
Of course this is not just a battle over four courses; Boulus and those in the ivory tower are more worried about the camel's nose under the tent syndrome.
“In Florida these program have tended to expand,” reports Boulus and if that happens in Michigan, the big schools will lose students and money and maybe even a little prestige.
Walsh says offering these courses is an “efficient use of resources.”
Boulus says its duplication which the state can't afford.
And then he raises a nasty little notion regarding the collegial relationship that now exists between these two higher ed entities.
When you introduce the word competition into the equation, Boulus warns, “that (cooperation) can wane (and) get cloudy.” He says “we’re not there yet,” but it could happen.
Taken aback with that hint of a threat Walsh concludes,”This kind of talk is fruitless and unnecessary and if anything causes a fray in a relationship, it’s that kind of talk.”
The battle shifts to the senate where the four year folks could take another hit soon.