Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat writes:
“It doesn’t take college-level math to figure that a growing state also needs to continually expand its college system. So why not try what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did? Throw out a little carrot. See who would compete to build a new college here.”
UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska responds:
“Here’s the conundrum:
“Public universities have traditionally been ‘accessible’ in two important respects: they are large, and they have low tuition (supplemented by public funds).
“Private universities have traditionally been ‘inaccessible’ in two important respects: they are small, and they have high tuition …
“From an ‘innovation engine’ point of view, it would be fantastic to have a great private graduate technology university here. That’s what New York was after. From an ‘educational access’ point of view, though, it would be unlikely to be helpful …
“The tragedy is that in Washington, and across the nation, the ‘contract’ under which the public supported a strong college education for smart kids regardless of means is being broken.”