President Robert A. Scott reflects on how Adelphi fairs in terms of mission, resources, safety and student progress.

Dr. Robert A. ScottThe news media are filled with stories about higher education, and most are not flattering. Such stories often question whether college is worth the expense, and express concerns about student loan debt, low graduation rates, employment prospects for graduates, binge drinking, abuse in athletics, sexual assaults and distorted priorities in the allocation of resources, among other complaints such as high tuition and large lecture classes. Given this media attention, it is no wonder that people often ask me how Adelphi fares in these critiques.

First, we focus on our mission for student learning and our goals for student satisfaction, success, retention, graduation and post-graduation success in careers and graduate school. We do this in part by encouraging students to major in subjects for which they have a passion, whether accounting or anthropology, physics or poetry, because students are more successful when they study what they love. It is our responsibility, then, to promote a broad liberal education and create the internships and other experiences that help prepare students for the world beyond Adelphi. As a result, we have one of the highest graduation rates in the region.

Second, we manage our resources of people, money, equipment and facilities so that we can hold tuition lower than regional competitors. Adelphi has been recognized for this stewardship by Standard & Poor’s, Grant Thornton and the Fiske Guide to Colleges, in which, for nine years, Adelphi has been included as one of the two dozen best values in American higher education for efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, Grant Thornton dedicated its 2013 review of higher education to Adelphi as an exemplar of institutional management of resources and focus on student success.

This attention to student progress and well-being permeates all that we do, in campus life, fraternities and sororities, athletics and residence halls. As a consequence, Adelphi has been lauded as one of the safest campuses in the nation.

Success starts with purpose. We believe that a college education should be a transformational experience, with benefits to society as well as self, not just a series of transactions, and that all students, whether undergraduate or graduate, should advance not only in knowledge, skills and abilities, but also in the values necessary to lead a life grounded in inquisitiveness and service. This is the path toward living a life, not just earning a living.

This piece was published in AU VU, Spring 2015 issue. 

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