Recently there have been several articles about colleges objecting to expectations that they report learning or academic outcomes. For example, this Inside Higher Ed article describes how Division III schools object to a proposed NCAA requirement to report graduation rates for their athletes. The schools say that this will drive costs up. But, they also fear that low graduation rates may bring some penalties, as has happened for Division I schools. This is just one more in a growing list of objections to reporting academic outcomes.
Diane Auer Jones has proposed that schools start to report a “federal regulatory compliance fee” so that students and others can see the impact of added reporting requirements. She does a nice job of explaining her proposal and the reasons such a move would be useful.
Perhaps her idea is a good one. Not only for the reasons she presents, but because it would be interesting to see how much actually is spent on required reports. A part of me wonders why it would be so difficult and costly to report graduation Cialis Online rates for athletes.
There just seems to be an unending chorus of voices lamenting reporting requirements. But, per the title of this post, don’t colleges and universities have some obligation to report on the most fundamental aspect of why they exist? Don’t we have an obligation to account for whether learning occurs and people finish their education?
I agree that there have been lots of added reporting requirements, and that these add costs. But the reports that I think we should object to because they are burdensome and costly are in the non-academic areas. Perhaps any federal compliance reports might separate out costs for academic reports and non-academic. Perhaps rather than railing about too many reports, we in higher education should define what it makes sense to report and what does not. Doesn’t it make sense that we should report about learning?
Too often the loudest objections are not about useless and bureaucratic reports, but rather about reporting on the very essence of our work.
What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment.
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