Milliken, who became the leader of the 14-institution UT System last fall, is far from a doomsday prophet. He’s precisely the opposite: a realist and passionate advocate for the benefits of public higher education at a time when some question whether a four-year degree is worth the time and money. With a slight bit of irritation and a large dose of certainty in his voice, Milliken says, “I have little patience for that argument.”To him, the question itself poses a false choice. “Most new jobs created require education beyond high school, and there is a point soon approaching where almost every job newly created will require education beyond high school,” he said. In other words, we are not turning back the clock to a time when a high school degree was sufficient. Milliken’s point is that Texas needs to produce more of everything, from two-year certificates to four-year degrees to advanced graduate degrees. His view is backed up by business leaders who say they have more openings in some fields than skilled workers to fill them.Milliken isn’t territorial, as one might expect from someone whose UT institutions award more than one-third of all undergraduate degrees in Texas and almost two-thirds… Read full this story
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