Mitch Daniels is agnostic on the various delivery modes of higher education or the tax status of colleges offering them, as long as students are getting a quality education at an appropriate price.
“I’m only interested in results per dollar charged,” Daniels, president of Purdue University and the former Indiana governor, said in a speech to for-profit-college leaders here on Thursday. “That’s the value equation.”
Daniels was speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which is the for-profit sector’s primary trade group. The mood may have been glum here for some attendees, because most for-profits are coping with steep dips in enrollment and revenue.
However, the rest of higher education also faces challenges, Daniels said, many of which have similar dimensions to those that are buffeting for-profits. Tests for public universities include declining state support and questions from lawmakers and the general public about the value of college credentials.
“You must sense some of the same shifting of the ground that I do,” said Daniels.
Furthermore, no college will be exempt from the growing clamor for accountability, he said. “It’s coming and high time for it.”