Eye on Education

Ohio State University President Says Higher Ed is Key to American Prosperity

Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee told a crowd the City Club of Cleveland Friday that higher education in America can lead the economic recovery, but that will require universities to remake themselves.

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact Ohio

E. Gordon Gee says universities must refocus themselves to play their part in America's future.

It should come as no surprise that the president of one of the biggest universities in America is a big fan of higher education. Wearing his quintessential red bow tie, E. Gordon Gee told the audience that higher education is the only way toward prosperity in America.

“One hundred years ago, about the City Club was founded, the three richest Americans made their money in oil, steel and timber respectively,” Gee said. “Now the three wealthiest people in this country derive their riches from software, finance, and software. Where once smokestacks were the metric of prosperity, today I submit to you today it is the college-bell tower.”

But Gee said American universities must focus on research and creativity to thrive. As for the rising cost of higher education, Gee said tuition should not be thought of as a one-time expense, but rather as a “lifetime investment.”


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