I welcome a concurring opinion from the dean at Pioneer Valley Community, observing the same mercantilist silliness in New York.
New York City is an amazing place, but it’s not for everyone. And outside of the NYC area, many of the smaller economies aren’t necessarily thriving. Forcing someone to remain in a languishing region when they could have landed a productive position in Boston or D.C. or San Francisco doesn’t serve any useful purpose.Indeed, because Albany and Binghamton and Buffalo are starting at a disadvantage relative to Ann Arbor or Madison in providing inducements for striving out-of-state students to pay full freight, the financing model that the state flagship campuses are using in the absence of appropriations.
It can be difficult for a locality or a state to invest in education only to watch talent leave. But tying talent down is not the answer. Pushing other states and localities to invest, too, is.
Higher education should not reinforce provincialism. I fully agree with reducing the debt burden on college students and new graduates. But cutting down their futures to what fits within the state lines is not the way to do it. If a new graduate with a great idea for a startup wants to escape from New York and find fortune in Palo Alto, let her. And if a nerdy kid from Rochester somehow meets and falls in love with a Jersey Girl, back off. Surely, somewhere, you can find a real problem to solve. Maybe you could start with SUNY’s appropriation...
There is one bit of hopeful news ... the partnerships Northern Illinois has been establishing with Chinese universities allow us to explain to the legislators that the state universities, and Caterpillar, run balance of payment surpluses with China. Wal-Mart and Apple can't say that. Now, to get some trade and development specialists hired in the economics department. (I may be taking my pension, but it still matters to me that the right things get done for the right reason.)