Kasich’s State of the State Remarks on Higher Ed

In the midst of his presidential campaigning, Governor Kasich came back to Ohio to deliver his annual state of the state address. What follows are the parts of the speech related to higher education:


For some, it means that professional certification or training in specialized vocational skills that I mentioned, but for others it can mean a college degree.  But there is a very big barrier in our way, and it’s something I hear wherever I go, anywhere in this country, not just here. 

Too many young people in America are struggling with the cost of advanced education.  We’re going after that problem in Ohio, attacking the root cause of high tuition by encouraging colleges to get their costs of doing business under control.

We created a task force of business leaders who are experts at controlling costs and balancing the bottom line.  And I’m happy to say our college presidents are taking this very seriously, and they’re starting to put those recommendations to work.

University of Toledo and Bowling Green are working together to jointly–-jointly offer courses that traditionally have had low enrollment on their separate campuses.  Ohio State and Cincinnati are taking steps to partner with the state and large scale technology operations to take advantage of college of scales instead of taking on costly upgrades or new construction on their own.

We recently forgot the General Assembly some important initiatives to establish pathways to a lower cost college degree.  We’re proposing efforts to allow more students the ability to study for three years at a lower cost on a community college campus and then transfer to a four‑year university for a final year to earn their degrees.  This could cut their costs by 75 percent in getting this degree. 

And let me just say that if we don’t begin to control these costs, these four‑year schools, many of them, will be just a memory.  Because people will figure out a way to get their education–-their credentials–-at a much lower price.  And these colleges and universities are going to have to make very tough decisions.

I’d like to salute Gordon Gee one more time.  He leased the parking garages and the surface lots at Ohio State amid great criticism.  He carried out his plan, and he was paid for leasing those facilities a half a billion dollars that got put into scholarships.  This is the courage and the vision that we need across our state.

And this goes hand‑in‑hand with another earlier step we took with College Credit Plus programs.  And think about this one.  It gives Ohio students the ability to earn college credits in high school before they ever step foot on a college campus or pay college tuition. 

In one semester alone, these efforts-–College Credit Plus–-has saved an estimated $50 million for these students across Ohio on their college costs just by doing College Credit Plus.

And we want to work with you to allow community colleges to offer a limited number of four‑year degree programs in fields where we won’t have overlap with other schools so students can earn a college diploma at a lower cost and meet the needs of local industries.  There are places here.

If we want to make it easier for Ohioans to earn a college degree, we also need to keep in mind those adult learners, most often those with jobs and families have who already built up considerable knowledge and hands‑on experience in their field.  And they probably know enough to teach some of the courses, and they shouldn’t have to pay to sit through hours in the classroom.  So we want to give these folks a way to use what they have learned to earn their college degrees more quickly.  And through all of this, the need to help guide and support students is essential, which is why in last year’s budget we required every two‑ and four‑year institution to have strong career advisors for students in place by December. 

When our kids enter higher education in this state, they must have somebody that guides them all the way through to get them their degree and get them a degree in a job that is available where they can have success once graduating from college.  We need to do this. 

Lorain County Community College, Zane State and Edison State—they made a lot of progress in this area. Miami, University of Cincinnati as well.  Just as with guidance counselors in K through 12, higher ed for students is a priority.  And these schools are going to do this.  The important work we are setting in motion all across the higher education system, especially on affordability, will prepare Ohioans for strong futures, but we have more work to do, and we must do it.

And I’m proud to hold up our progress to other states as a model that they can all learn from us.  These new reforms and proposals we’re bringing you will build on the success of all the programs we’ve made together over the past five years.  And I, in fact, am sending to people around this country the recommendations of our cost‑cutting commission that I think can help attack this problem and solve some of this problem across our country.



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