Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's nice to hear that Dr. David Metzen, former

University of Minnesota regent,

has gotten religion on graduation rates...

I've posted earlier on the irony of this: "College Graduation Rates in Lake Wobegon Country, NOT All Above Average."

The Strib reports further evangelism by Dr. Metzen on the topic of higher education rates:

... 55 percent shouldn't be its aim, said David Metzen, director of the state's Office of Higher Education.

It should be 70 percent -- "minimum."

"If Minnesota is going to be a leader, we're going to have to do better than the national average," he said, pointing out that an educated population boosts a strong economy.

Metzen has ideas about how to get more students degrees.
It's nice to hear that Metzen has ideas about raising graduation rates. Where were they when he was a regent, including even being chairman of the board? 

Seventy percent?

That's rather ironic coming from the good Doctor.

It should be noted that Metzen is also a former University of Minnesota regent who served for twelve years - even as chair (2003-2005). So he was present during the dog days of lousy graduation rates, what was it, 25%? 

President Bruininks has also been around forever but has also recently gotten religion.

With Metzen's background in education, master's and doctorate in educational administration, as well as serving as a school superintendent for eighteen years, one might think that graduation rates would have been important to him back then?

However, Dr. Metzen was also a gopher hockey player. He served as the unofficial regent for the athletics department. Perhaps he had more pressing issues back then during his twelve years as a regent? Such as athletics at the U?

Who can forget his tantrum at the Board of Regents meeting - I was there - over alcohol in the House that Bob Built? Rather than graduation rates, his focus then was the House that Bob Built and Muscoplat's Folly [aka UMore Park]?

"Regent David Metzen said he thought the future of the project [Umore Park] is the most important decision to face the University in the last 15 years." (Daily - 6/13/08)

His hockey playing friend, governor Pawlenty, has appointed him to the Minnesota Office of
Higher Education, where it is now finally fashionable to be concerned about graduation rates. It's nice to have a sinecure in your old age. Otherwise he'd have to make a living giving inspirational talks (at 2-5K$ a pop), like: 

Leaders are Learners [sic]

Change or Die

Building a Learning Organization

How Great Boards Work [sic]

It’s All About People [sic]

You Can’t Win Without Teamwork

Inspiring and Motivating Your Staff

Barriers to Change

Moving out of your Comfort Zone

To which can now at last be added:

Get Those Graduation Rates Up!

And so it goes in higher ed at Lake Wobegon.


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