Trachtenberg speaks about education issues

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg outlined some of the tough decisions higher education administrators face in running a successful university at a meeting of the Higher Education Association Thursday at Strong Hall.

“Suppose there is a terrific student that requires $15,000 a year (in financial aid) and then there are three darn good students who require $5,000 a year each – which one would you choose?” he said.

With the University expected to see a large jump in the number of applicants in the next 10 years, Trachtenberg said his main goal is to prepare the school for the next century.

In the question and answer period following his speech, audience members asked about issues ranging from the recent decision to reorganize the School of Engineering and Applied Science to Trachtenberg’s recent trip to Turkey.

He said an exchange program hopefully will be in place for graduate students to travel to Turkey soon and said the University must prioritize its output of education.

“It would be unthinkable for GW to not have a well-distinguished law school in D.C.,” Trachtenberg said. “After all, we’re to law what the University of Milwaukee is to beer.”

HEA is a GW organization that provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on current issues in higher education and provides information about career development, HEA President Suzanne Tapia said.

“We have about 100 members, which include students, faculty, staff and alumni, including Trachtenberg,” she said.

Organizers began planning the event early last summer.

Graduate student Carmen Johnson, who planned the event, said Trachtenberg spoke before the HEA two years ago. Trachtenberg is the organization’s first speaker of the year and Johnson said the group is planning to host more speakers.

The meeting attracted both members of HEA and other GW students.

“Whenever there is a meeting, which is usually two times a month, I try to come,” said Mahadev Rathnam, a professor in the educational leadership department. “There are so many things that are being done and I want to keep up with the latest developments in research and publications.”

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