For related news, read "Hart Discusses 'Never Settle,' State Funding at Faculty Senate."
University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart has launched a new blog where she will write about contemporary issues in higher education and ways the institution is aligning itself to be even more responsive to state and national needs.
In particular, Hart will use the public platform to discuss major tenets of the UA's strategic plan, "Never Settle," which emphasizes outcomes rather than activities. Goals include guaranteeing "100 percent student engagement" – opportunities for all students to apply what they learn in the classroom through internships, community service and faculty-mentored research – and making sure more research discoveries make it to the marketplace.
Hart is personally crafting each blog post and will update the site on a periodic basis. And with accessibility and transparency in mind, Hart is targeting her messages to students, families, educators and higher education leaders in Arizona and across the nation.
In her first post, "A Consumer Guide to Higher Education for Parents and Students," Hart addresses the cost of higher education and what challenges families face in financing a degree.
Speaking at times about her own experiences, Hart provides a point-by-point description of how students and their families can be "better consumers of higher education" while controlling and lowering the cost of a degree.
In offering advice, Hart suggests learning as much as possible about the colleges and universities being considered as well as immediate and long-term costs. She also encourages students to remember that multiple paths to success do exist.
"You will be surprised how many very successful adults have had to change their plans, taking paths to their dreams that they never anticipated or finding new possibilities arising as they meet and overcome challenges," Hart writes.
Hart acknowledges that students may need help selecting a program and that many also must work while in school and take out loans.
"I know what you face; I was married, and we were self-supporting after our first year of university," Hart writes. "If you contribute to the cost of your education by working, plan your work and your studies as carefully as you possibly can and find ways to balance the two."
In closing, Hart writes: "College can be a wonderful time if you plan it well and take advantage of all its opportunities. Enjoy!"
Hart's blog is available at http://president.arizona.edu/communications/blog.