An education think tank in California is calling for the creation of a cabinet level position in the governor's office to help fix the state's higher education problems.
In a study released Wednesday, the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy recommended creating an office of higher education that is part of the administration and reports directly to the governor.
“We are trying to fix the fact that we are not educating nearly enough Californians,” said Nancy Shulock, director of the Sacramento State University-based institute.
One of the big problems, the report outlines, is that community colleges, Cal States, and University of California campuses close to each other don’t do enough to jointly address student needs.
"There are at least 13 states that do what we’re suggesting here, which is to have an office of higher education in the executive branch," Shulock said. "There is no such office providing professional expertise and guidance in our executive branch — as there is in air quality, health policy."
The new office would set statewide higher education goals and would oversee regional cooperation between public colleges and universities. The next step, Shulock says, is tough but not insurmountable, and that’s to convince Sacramento lawmakers this is needed.