Regarding the Sept. 13 news article “ McCrory calls for fast degree path”: “We must make sure that our degrees are targeted toward those areas where we get the biggest return on investment,” Gov. Pat McCrory said, but it begs for clarification.
Does this mean return on investment is the chief driver behind state higher education support? How about the state’s constitution? Presumably, realizing “the biggest” ROI means at least refilling the treasury with money equal to that spent educating college students in the first place. Or does “the biggest” mean earning profits from taxable businesses attracted to our state because it is full of workers holding particular degrees favored by state planners? In either case, a values disconnect exists in this statement.
Given that states, North Carolina included, have circumscribed revenue sources – taxes, fees, penalties, grants, gifts and interest earned – ROI pursuit beyond a break-even proposition is inconsistent with “smaller” government, something Republicans say they favor.
Conversely, McCrory’s statement also implies certain unspecified degrees hold value for North Carolina above others when it comes to ROI; by this measure the degree, not the degree holder, is the value determinant from the state treasury’s perspective.
Sounds like centralized planning has become the new Republican value proposition under McCrory.
Vincent J. Kopp