“James Garland’s book not only describes in detail his fascinating experiment in restructuring the financing of Miami University but furthermore provides a broader discussion of why the challenges facing higher education today demand similarly bold paradigm shifts in the financing of America’s public universities. This book should be an important resource for both those involved in the leadership and governance of higher education as well as those citizens interested in the rapidly changing nature of America’s colleges and universities.”
(James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus, University of Michigan)
"Garland (president, emeritus, Miami University of Ohio) asserts that a misguided business model for public universities—he was a teacher and administrator at Ohio State for many years—has led to increasing tuition and declining quality. Garland explains the damaging impact of an unpredictable and uncompetitive system of state appropriations and also shows that faculty values and the character of academic culture get in the way of cost-effective management and the identification of priorities. Most faculty are dedicated and hardworking, but campus attitudes have led to a defensiveness that wastes resources, resists change, and undermines the academic excellence that students and society overall need. While Garland's recommended change in tuition policy may not work throughout the system, his clearly expressed and hardheaded analysis provide a valuable perspective for both the general reader and public officials."
"As the former president of a public university, Garland worries about whether the public university will continue to provide professors with a venue for instructing students from middle-class homes. In recent decades, he laments, Americans have witnessed the breakdown of the economic model that once made public universities almost universally affordable. Consequently, students must pay staggering tuition to attend institutions that cannot maintain their facilities, keep their best faculty, or satisfy their staff. Garland therefore draws from the corporate world to propose a bold new economic model: let state legislatures replace their direct aid to public universities with indirect aid via expanded aid to needy students. To meet the market pressures generated by this new economic model, universities—Garland believes—will become more efficient, more flexible, and more responsive to social needs. Certain to spark fierce resistance, this proposed reform will require firm leadership from state governors who understand what is at stake in changing a valuable but now dysfunctional institution."
(Booklist (starred review)
"In Saving Alma Mater, Mr. Garland argues that government should end subsidies altogether and allow supply and demand to rule. . . . A useful primer on academic dysfunction."
(Patricia Cohen New York Times
About the Author
James C. Garland began his teaching career at The Ohio State University in 1970. During his twenty-six-year tenure there, he served as a physics professor and department chairperson, acting vice president for research and graduate studies, director of the school’s Materials Research Laboratory, dean of its College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and finally the school’s executive dean of Arts and Sciences. In 1996 Garland began a ten-year term as president of Miami University of Ohio. He retired in 2006.