Thursday, December 19, 2002
WHY CAN'T NEBRASKA GET A HILLSDALE SUCCESS STORY GOING?
Hillsdale College in Michigan is famous for being a top-quality, conservative college that doesn't take any federal funding and so is free to educate students the old-fashioned way: with unvarnished excellence.
It is so attractive a concept that enrollment is growing. Now there are 25 Nebraska students at the relatively small (1,200 kids) institution. Among its recent graduates: the daughter of Nebraska State Treasurer Lorelee Byrd.
That's one of the largest conglomerations of Nebraska students at any college, public or private, outside the state.
There's a Nebraska couple who are to be congratulated for the great job they're doing in recruiting these growing numbers of students. They are Doug and Priscilla Falke of Wahoo. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for gracious conversation and everything you've ever wanted to know about quality college education.
One more thing: Doug is a retired business teacher, formerly of the Omaha Public Schools, and two of his three children are Hillsdale products. That's a pretty good recommendation right there.
The numbers got me to thinking: we want to stop the brain drain in Nebraska, and keep excellent students here, or at least draw them back here to serve their home state. But we don't have anything like Hillsdale in Nebraska. Not even close.
Why couldn't we privatize one of our struggling state colleges, give them their buildings outright in exchange for their permanent agreement not to take federal funds . . . and replicate the Hillsdale success, right here in the Cornhusker State?
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