2011 Conference - Universities as Economic Drivers

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Universities and colleges as economic drivers, measuring higher education’s role in economic development was the goal of the 2011 conference. Documents and papers in this collection seek to examine the economic role of universities and colleges.


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    Why Should We Want to Drive the Economy? And What is "Success" Anyway? A Philosopher's Perspective.
    (2013-08-15) Tuggy, Dale
    Every American, every person wants to be “a success”. When we speak of “success” nowadays, we usually have in mind financial success, a degree of personal wealth. Yet we would all agree that we want more from life than having achieved a relatively high income tax bracket. The ancient Greek philosophers urged that all of us, as we go through our lives making countless choices, are ultimately aiming to thrive, to live well, to have a truly good life. So, it is important to think carefully about what it is for a human being to thrive, to flourish. We want, in this rich sense, to do well in life, and we also want to avoid poverty, to enjoy at least a decent level of financial prosperity. But how do the two relate? At this conference, we’re examining the ways our great SUNY system can contribute to the economic success of New York State, leading to better quality of life for New Yorkers. I will argue that economic success is indeed an important goal, and that the great Greek philosopher Aristotle can help us to see how it fits into a whole life well lived.
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    Colleges & Small town Retail: An Analysis
    (2013-08-15) Alexander R. Thomas, Brian M. Lowe; Gregory M. Fulkerson, Polly J. Smith
    eges & Small Town Retail: An Analysis Richard Florida (2004, 2007, 2008) argues that the economies of post-industrial societies will be increasingly influenced by the actions of a “creative class” comprised of highly educated workers, primarily from the knowledge and information technology fields. In short, Florida argues that those cities that have qualities attractive to “creatives” will be more likely to benefit from their presence. The ability to attract the creative class is not simply the result of the presence or absence of historically conventional economic “pull” factors for communities (e.g., availability of blue collar jobs), but rather is deeply informed by the presence of high “quality of life” indicators that include the performing arts, outdoor recreation, social activism, and other social and cultural activities commensurate with post-material values (Inglehart, 1997). Such values include leisure activity, environmental protection, animal rights, social justice, non-violence/peace, and other ideals that largely grew out of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the United States and Western Europe.
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    The Next Open Decade and Higher Education: Toward Equity of Access for Unemployed Workers
    (2013-08-15) Alan Davis, Edward Warzala; Tina Wagle
    The proposal responds to the following conference themes and objectives: • To assess, based on the best available evidence, ideas, and practices from across the U.S. and around the world, how universities and colleges can exert greater impact on economic growth • To cultivate greater understanding among elected officials, business representatives, policymakers and other concerned parties about the central roles universities and colleges play in national, state, and local economies Why This, Why Now? American public higher education was established to provide access to individuals who for one reason or another could not attend private, elite colleges and universities. The State University of New York (SUNY) was founded in 1948 primarily to serve this end. Despite this fundamental commitment, displaced workers and adult learners are not adequately served by traditional, public institutions. The majority of public colleges and universities still adhere to the traditional term based calendar of scheduling and traditional classroom teaching, which serves traditional age (18-24) residential students, but does not benefit adults who must work, support families, and are often place bound. With official national unemployment rates hovering around 10%, and with pockets of unemployment reaching 25%, the need for flexible, open and online educational alternatives is called for. Open learning reduces barriers and only public higher education is equipped to provide affordable access that adults and displaced workers need to retrain and reenter the workforce.