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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Higher education under review

Rodney Haas/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jack Jewett from the Flinn foundation discusses ways to solve the many problems with higher education in Arizona Thursday in the Santa Rita Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.
Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Jack Jewett from the Flinn foundation discusses ways to solve the many problems with higher education in Arizona Thursday in the Santa Rita Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.

Community and civic engagement were the topics of the Higher Education Colloquium, a program which invites academic leaders to come together for discussion, on Thursday. The colloquium, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Higher Education, is held Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 p.m. this semester.

These topics addressed the role of foundations and partnerships in education by having Jack Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation, and Paul Luna, president and CEO of the Helios Foundation, speak.

Jewett said Arizona is at a crossroads in education and that it poses a threat to the Flinn Foundation’s programs.

In the past, the Flinn Scholars program awards 20 students full undergraduate scholarships to Arizona public universities every year. Last year, because of damage to Arizona’s reputation in higher education, they were only able to offer 17 scholarships.

“”Arizona was being hammered a year ago, and there was a consequence to that,”” Jewett said.

Jewett and Luna focused on the crisis as a call to action.

“”There is indeed an honor to public service and we need to equip individuals with the qualities and the skill sets and the opportunity to serve. Whether it’s in public service or private service, there is a lot of work that can be done,”” Jewett said.

Luna shared both Helios’ story and talked about Expect More Arizona, an organization created to give education a voice in Arizona.

Luna said Expect More Arizona is about raising the understanding of all residents in the state in regards to education.

Luna talked about how the organization works on giving information and inspiring the community to share their voice and ask questions.

“”You ask the questions and you make sure you are satisfied with the answers you get,”” Luna said.

Luna’s presentation showed questions such as “”Is average good enough? Are our expectations good enough? And are we doing enough?””

Luna said that the Helios Foundation was going to be bringing all of its resources to the table and encouraged individuals to do the same.

“”Bring what you have, bring what you can because our future depends on it,”” Luna said.

The audience seemed pleased with the optimistic outlook.

Joe Embacher a graduate student in the higher education program, was among those satisfied with the presentation.

“”I think they laid out a very good proposal for the future of the state and a very optimistic future which has been a lot different than the rest of the speakers we heard in the series,”” Embacher said.

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