Crisis/Opportunity — WICHE 2011 Annual Report

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In the face of dwindling state support to adequately fund higher education, we know we still need to produce more postsecondary graduates; and because we need to reach deeper into the low-income and minority communities to do so, controlling costs and keeping tuition affordable is critical. Along with challenging economic circumstances (and in some cases because of them), four issues have come to the forefront in the West, in addition to the key issue of productivity: performance funding; governance changes; accountability; and innovation. It is clear that the demands on our higher education systems and our institutions will continue to grow and that state funding levels will not keep pace. Let's hope the last year, challenging though it was for many states, yields more such innovations in the future.